Kanye West’s “New Slaves” art project was shut down by Texas police on Saturday evening.
The rapper intended to project the song and some video images onto buildings around Houston ahead of Memorial Day weekend. However, his best laid plans were squashed when officers threatened to arrest fans who had gathered to see the performance.
The Guardian explains that the promotional campaign for “New Slaves” was to take place at the Rothko Chapel. However, those who showed up to see the video were threatened with police action when authorities decided to shut down the proposed event.
Kanye West had originally planned for three screenings of the “New Slaves” project to screen on Saturday. Unfortunately for fans of the rapper, none of them took place. Instead, police decided cancel the event and sent everyone home. Anyone who hung around the chapel would have been arrested for trespassing.
According to the Houston Chronicle, a lack of proper permits is what caused authorities to cancel the scheduled event. However, many feel that the song’s lyrical content may have prompted police to shut down the screening. The Houston police, of course, are sticking to their version of the story.
The “New Slaves” project at the Rothko Chapel was the only plug that was pulled on Saturday night. One screening slated to take place at the Houston Central Library was reportedly stopped moments before organizers were set to begin.
Although similar events were taking place in 20 cities around the world this weekend, it would appear that only the Houston shows were scrapped. It’s unclear if West and his crew will be able to reschedule these screenings for a later date. Since the Houston screenings were to coincide with other events across the globe, this seems very doubtful.
Video from one of the previous screenings can be found below. The clip contains a bit of language, so proceed with caution.
Are you a fan of Kanye West’ music? What do you think about Houston police shutting down screenings of “New Slaves” over the weekend?