Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

West rapped by Parkinson's charity

Kanye West's lyrics have been causing offence

Kanye West has been described as "cruel and insensitive" after making a reference to Parkinson's Disease in some lyrics.

In the track On Sight, which features on his new album Yeezus, the Stronger rapper - who welcomed a baby girl with Kim Kardashian days ago - sings: "Soon as I pull up and park the Benz, we get this b**** shaking like Parkinson's."

It is deemed to refer to the involuntary shaking, one of the symptoms of the condition.

His words have not gone down well with Parkinson's charities on both sides of the Atlantic.

Steve Ford, chief executive of Parkinson's UK, said: "Kanye West has shown an inexcusable level of stupidity and cruelty towards people living with an incurable condition. Life with Parkinson's is difficult enough without becoming fodder for insensitive celebrities who should know better, looking for their next big hit."

He added: "People with Parkinson's have to cope with intolerable social discrimination on a daily basis - often to the point where they are afraid to go out in public - and this sort of thoughtless, callous comment can only serve to make things even worse for them."

Kathryn Whitford, vice-president of the American Parkinson Disease Association, added: "We find these lyrics distasteful and the product of obvious ignorance."

Actor Michael J Fox, boxer Muhammad Ali and former Major League Baseball player Ben Petrick are among the high-profile figures coping with the incurable degenerative neurological condition.

Kanye isn't the first singer who has courted controversy over lyrics about Parkinson's Disease. Eminem referred to it in Won't Back Down, while Snoop Dogg, now known as Snoop Lion, sang about it in Eyez Closed.

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