Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Kanye West and Drake Team With Amazon to Stream Free Larry Hoover Benefit Concert

Photo Credit @Ye Instagram

Christmas is coming early for hip-hop fans, at least those with an Amazon Prime account.

The world’s largest online retailer announced on Tuesday, the Free Larry Hoover Benefit Concert, headlined by Kanye West and featuring a guest appearance from Drake will be streamed globally on its platform.

The news was applauded by fans of both rap icons, as ticket prices for the Dec. 9 concert, which will take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, have soared since its announcement — with some going as high as $7,500, not including taxes and fees, on Ticketmaster.
While the prices might seem outrageous, they were not unexpected. In addition to this being the first time West, who recently changed his name to Ye, is headlining a show in five years, it also will be the first time the two rappers have worked together in years.

In fact, the long-running beef between Drake and West, which the latter first called for an end to in an interview with N.O.R.E. on Drink Champs early in November, following the Astroworld disaster, will be “put to rest” at the concert according to West.

The concert will stream live Thursday (Dec. 8) at 11 p.m. EST/8 p.m. PST on Amazon Prime Video, Twitch and the Amazon Music app in more than 240 countries and territories across the world. In addition to being available through Amazon’s services, the concert will be live-streamed in IMAX theaters across the U.S. for a one-night-only event. Tickets are now available for purchase on IMAX’s official website. The concert will also be available to view on-demand through Prime Video following the live event.

“We’re extremely proud to be working with Kanye and Drake on this historic concert in support of a cause they are both so passionate about and to collaborate across Amazon for this epic entertainment event,” Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said of the collaboration in a statement.

“Kanye and Drake have spent their careers pushing boundaries and defining culture, and we’re excited to give fans around the world a front-row seat to this concert,” added Tim Hinshaw, head of hip-hop and R&B for Amazon Music. “We have made Amazon Music and Prime Video destinations where artists can make their most ambitious ideas a reality — his concert is just the latest example.”

The concert is intended to raise awareness of Larry Hoover’s incarceration and fight for freedom after decades behind bars. The co-founder of the Gangster Disciples, Hoover was found guilty of murder, extortion and money laundering among other charges in 1997 and is currently serving six life sentences. Additionally, it will benefit advocacy groups including Hustle 2.0, Ex-Cons For Community And Social Change and Uptown People’s Law Center.

West has been working to free Hoover, whose sentencing has sparked controversy and calls for sentence reform, for several years. In 2018 he asked Donald Trump, whom he avidly supported during his presidency, to grant him clemency, but the request was not granted.

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