With Benjamin Netanyahu is stateside at the UN, America has sent a statesman of its own to Israel in return – outspoken rap icon and prospective 2020 presidential candidate Kanye West.
The notoriously sullen musician played Tel Aviv last night – having last visited Israel with wife Kim Kardashian in April, when the couple had their daughter North baptised in Jerusalem.
Over 25,000 people turned out to see West’s 90-minute set at Ramat Gan Stadium, with the 38-year-old performer telling the crowd they should: “Remember this night for the rest of your life”.
Perhaps unsurprisingly – given his divisive reputation – reviews in the Israeli press have been less effusive.
“What the concert lacked the most was something surprising, an edge. But for the first half of the show West only churned out mediocre rap…his performance lacked anything shocking, subversive or interesting. It could be that the venue was to blame. The sound was too milky, not penetrating or moving. This kind of concert is better indoors, where perfect production value can be achieved,” said a report in Haaretz, which also described the gig as “anything but historic”.
After the performance’s decidedly lukewarm media reception, some in the audience – given Kanye’s recent announcement that he intends to run for the US presidency in five years’ time – reportedly joked that his Israeli visit is secretly an attempt to improve his foreign policy credentials.