Saturday, February 16, 2008

Filmmaker Blasts Kanye West for Hypocrisy

Wun Deuce Media and Sieh (C-ya) Samura are in production for the documentary, Sweet Salone, about the growing new music culture of Sierra Leone, and the rise of Hip Hop. The film includes many talented music artists, including Kao Denero and Chosan, who are increasingly gaining international attention. Sweet Salone is part of an effort to bring positive attention to a country and group of talented artists that have been so often taken advantage of.

C-ya is becoming increasingly vocal about Kanye West’s exploitation of Sierra Leone and its people for material gain. The Song Diamonds from Sierra Leone, also known simply as Blood Diamonds, earned Kanye a Grammy in 2006 for Best Rap Song. Samura, whose father is a native of Sierra Leone, says that after working closely with Sierra Leone born, NY-based rapper Chosan, Kanye has refused to compensate the artist. Chosan was actually shocked to hear his voice as the intro to the song, and confused to find that the celebrity had used his voice without any agreement or negotiation.

The Entertainment world is aware of Kanye West’s track record as a rap music heavyweight and an often outspoken celebrity, but it seems that he needs to practice a little more of what he preaches.

C-ya calls Kanye a hypocrite for taking advantage of the Sierra Leonean artist while at the same time decrying exploitation. “The song is about the exploitation of Africans, but that is exactly what he is doing by not recognizing and compensating those that helped him. “Kanye is making all kinds of money from his music, but refuses to deal with Chosan honestly? It’s just another example of the manipulation, dishonesty, and greed, which has destroyed the country [Sierra Leone] in the first place. Take, take, take and no give. I’m tired of it, we’re tired of it.”- Samura

The film of the same name, Blood Diamonds, was an international success but boycotted in many countries because the film did very little to help the country of Sierra Leone or the people who suffer there. In fact the film has simply continued to reinforce the stigma of Sierra Leone as a godless place with no value besides the diamonds.

“I am grateful that there is increased awareness about the abuse of West Africa. But I can not help but to be frustrated to see all this media content being generated with little or no positive effect on the country. That is why I made this film, to show Sierra Leone for its beauty, talent, and perseverance. Hip Hop comes from Africa. It is time for American artists and audiences to recognize that.”-Samura

For additional information on Sweet Salone or C-ya Samura visit or email . Sweet Salone is expected to be completed by March and will compete in several national and local film festivals throughout the 2008 season.

Wun Deuce Media Productions – Is a Video Production Company in Boston, Massachusetts.
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