Kanye West Seen as a Bizarre Choice for Some Thanksgiving Day Parade Spectators
By Della Hasselle, Gabriela Resto-Montero and Nicole Bode
HERALD SQUARE — Kanye West let this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade finish, but not before his procession down the parade route got interrupted by some less-than-impressed spectators.
As Kanye’s Big-Apple themed float rolled through Herald Square, some in the crowd yelled "Beyonce has the best video of all time," in a reference to his outburst in the middle of country singer Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
"I’m not such a big fan anymore because of the Taylor Swift thing," said Macy’s paradegoer Paloma Diaz, 10, of Queens. "It made me feel disappointed because it was rude."
Kanye raised eyebrows with his outfit – a bizarre mashup of a black sports sweatband around his head, black sunglasses, and a long black coat with fur collar concealing a low-necked gold lame shirt, gold chains and a sleeveless fur vest atop a black leather shirt, pants and boots.
One Twitter user compared the outfit to "a bejeweled cross between Mr. T and Richard Simmons" another called it "Disco Rambo" and a third said Kanye looked like the flamboyant late piano legend Liberace.
Some in the crowd questioned why Macy’s would include the controversial artist in their lineup, which typically features more family-friendly stars from Disney, Nickelodeon and children’s cartoons.
Far from courting Middle America, Kanye become famous with his unexpected outbursts, including the Taylor Swift incident, his famous rant saying President George W. Bush "doesn't care about black people" during Hurricane Katrina and sending out a photo of his genitalia on Twitter earlier this month.
"I think he’s a jackass," said Sarah Mullins, 20, "He’s kind of a joke. He said some poignant political things that made a lot of sense. But if you want to be taken seriously in general, you need to have some respect."
Steve Williams, 28, said he didn’t understand why Kanye would be included as part of the Macy’s parade lineup.
"He’s just one of those people who mouths off to get attention. I don’t understand why someone like him would be in the parade," said Williams, a producer from Midtown.
"I’m sure Macy’s is looking to diversify their audience, which I respect. But it’s just a shame that it has to be someone who doesn’t uphold the values and ideals we should all live up to," Willams added.
Kanye spent most of the parade route clutching the bar on his Daily News-sponsored float and wearing a scowl, until he performed a brief snippet of his new song, "Lost in the World" as the float reached 34th Street.
"kanye performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade for 2 minutes. I wonder how much he got paid," wrote Twitter user Hollywood Hiatus.
Kanye fans said they were disappointed he didn’t sing more.
"He’s cool. I would have liked it if he had performed as he went by," said Vita Maurello, 18, of Queens.
Still, as Kanye’s new album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" is poised to go gold in its first week of release, some fans said it’s all just part of his persona.
"He’s a cool guy. He’s controversial, he’s allowed to get away with murder. But there’s something about the drama that intrigues people," said paradegoer and Kanye fan Gabrielle Sanson, 22, from New Jersey.