American rap superstar Kanye West apparently liked Israel so much on his lightning visit here in April with his celebrity wife Kim Kardashian, he’s decided to reward his Israeli fans with a show.Just a week after fellow A-lister Mariah Carey announced her first Israeli concert this month following a recent vacation here, flamboyant hip hop giant West has added his name to the list of performers who are making 2015 one of the more star-studded concert seasons in recent Israeli history.
West, one of the most successful American artists and producers of the past decade, will be appearing on September 30 at Ramat Gan Stadium, promoters from Bell Entertainment and Bookmark Entertainment announced at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Tickets for the show will range from NIS 199 to NIS 650 and go on sale Wednesday.“The goal here is to make this show accessible for all,” said one of the producers, Lia Luzon, adding that 30,000 seats are expected to be sold for the performance.Luzon pointed out that West is bringing his full stage show to Israel and has already sent a “crazy” technical rider.West will be arriving in Israel following September shows at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and the Summer Ends Music Festival in Tempe, Arizona.Regarding the proximity of the announcement to West’s brief jaunt to Israel in April – when he and Kardashian had their daughter North West baptized at the St. James Cathedral in the Armenian Quarter of Jersualem’s Old City – Luzon said that the visit contributed to closing the contract for the show.“When someone comes for a visit here, it makes it easier afterwards to get them on board for a show here,” she said at the press conference.Since his 2004 debut album The College Dropout sold millions of copies, West has captured the hip hop crown as one of the most successful pop artists and producers of all time – with 21 Grammys, five more albums that have sold more than 21 million copies and 100 million digital downloads.West’s achievements have not only been in the commercial sphere. The New York Times heaped praise on his career, saying that “no rapper has embodied hip-hop’s often contradictory impulses of narcissism and social good quite as he has, and no producer has celebrated the lush and the ornate quite as he has.”Rolling Stone called him “as interesting and complicated a pop star as the 2000s produced – a rapper who mastered, upped and moved beyond the hip-hop game, a producer who created a signature sound and then abandoned it to his imitators, a flashy, free-spending sybarite with insightful things to say about college, culture and economics, an egomaniac with more than enough artistic firepower to back it up.”West has also emerged as a cultural icon, regularly appearing on tabloid covers for his outlandish statements and personal life with Kardashian, but also being included on Time’s ‘100 most influential people’ list three times.In 2013, West was criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for saying in a radio interview that “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people.” The ADL called it “classic anti-Semitism,” adding, “There it goes again, the age-old canard that Jews are all-powerful and control the levers of power in government.”West responded, calling the criticism an “ignorant compliment” and saying it was misconstrued. “I don’t know how being told that you have money is like an insult,” Kanye said.
Kanye West to perform in Israel