Very important rapper Kanye West got paid a very large sum of money to perform a show this weekend that basically no one watched, thus potentially wounding his spirit for years to come. West earned a reported $3 million to play at the wedding of the grandson of Kazakhstan’s longtime president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. That compensation should somewhat soften the blow, considering descriptions of the event circulating in the press and on Instagram make it sound like West’s worst nightmare, with guests choosing to take pictures in front of the bewildered-looking rapper performing on a bare stage, rather than actually watching the show.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that Nazarbayev has long been criticized for his record on human rights. Human Rights Watch says that in 2012, Kazakhstan’s “human rights record seriously deteriorated” after the president, who’s ruled for 23 years, cracked down on dissent following a 2011 strike by oil workers. Police breaking up the strike killed more than a dozen people in the city of Zhanaozen.