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Kanye rocks Kingston

US rapper and choir thrill Jamaica audience

BY KEDIESHA PERRY
Observer writer

Saturday, October 19, 2019

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American rapper Kanye West and his 'Sunday Service' mass choir delivered two hours of soul-stirring gospel music at Emancipation Park in New Kingston, Jamaica, last night to a large audience.

The show, the first of the rapper's pop-up concert series outside of the United States, started at 7:00 pm with the choir, led by director Jason White, enthralling the audience with popular praise and worship choruses.

West, who had arrived at Norman Manley International Airport in Jamaica's capital city at approximately 5:30 pm, emerged on the stage without fanfare at 7:30 pm as the choir performed Father Shelter My Hand.

Earlier, before the start of the concert, there was heavy police presence at Emancipation Park.

“Well, the first thing we did was an assessment of the facility itself, the nature of the VIP to know how many officers we will need. We have an inner perimeter, we're managing the physical gate, we have covert officers to observe and respond quickly to any incident that may occur. We have also made provisions to ensure that we have clear sight of the motor vehicles around the area,” head of the police Mobile Reserve Senior Superintendent Terrence Bent told the Jamaica Observer.

Although Bent was unable to provide the exact number of police present, he did note that it was a combined effort from all divisions of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The outskirts of the park were lined with vendors selling everything from Jamaican flags to jerked chicken, popcorn, coconuts, corn, juices, snacks, and other items.

However, vendors shared that they were not receiving the expected sales.

“Nothing not really happening out here yet, but I hope things will pick up. I will be here all night,” vendor Avis Henderson told the Observer.

George Walker, who added that he has been selling ice cream adjacent Emancipation Park for five years, shared the same sentiments.

“Mi nah really mek no sales yet, but mi hope the night will get better,” he said.

Upon entering the park at 30 minutes to showtime, the mood was very relaxed, and the space was only half full of attendees, who were either sitting or standing around, awaiting the man of the hour.

Some even admitted that they only showed up to see West because of the high media publicity.

“I don't know Kanye, but I came to see what he's all about,” Shane Wilson, peer educator at Children First, said.


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