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Kanye West's 'New Slaves' Shuts Down Wicker Park's Main Intersection

By Alisa Hauser | May 18, 2013 10:27am
Kanye West's "New Slaves" at Millennium Park
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Richard Pepper

WICKER PARK — Kanye West knows how to get a reaction.

The bombastic Chicago-bred rapper shut down a busy Wicker Park intersection late Friday to debut a new song and video, prompting mixed reactions from residents. The video, which featured West's face, was screened on the side of the Walgreens at the intersection of Milwaukee, North and Damen intersection.

The video for "New Slaves" was projected onto 66 buildings across the world, including Wrigley Field, the Chicago History Museum, the Field Museum, the University of Chicago and Millennium Park's Crown Fountain.

The stunt garnered mixed reviews.

"That was the coolest f---ing thing that ever happened," tweeted Marisa Chilberg.

"A 10 idea with about a 3 execution," Wes Jakacki wrote on Twitter.

The Wicker Park Walgreens projection was hampered by a large window, so fans could only see half of West's face.

"Props to the guy riding up & down the escalator in the middle of the Kanye video inside the Walgreens giving peace signs. You are my hero!" cheered Lisa White on Twitter.

But not everyone was pumped.

Traffic was halted as cars were unable to pass though, according to witnesses.

George Zamarron posted a video to his Facebook page, captioned "Tax paddling dollars at work," perhaps referring to the police on the scene. Chicago police Sgt. Joseph Giambrone said the production was given a citation for not having a permit. The performance continued, allowing police to keep the 400 to 500 people happy.

"It took an hour of manning that could have been used to prevent other crimes," he said.