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Why aren’t we mad when pop stars perform for Wal-Mart?

Kanye West is just the latest music star to perform for a dictator; the rapper appeared at the wedding of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's grandson, reportedly performing his 2007 single "Can't Tell Me Nothing." While no news about the compensation West may have received for his performance has leaked out, it's part of an unfortunate recent history of stars serenading the world's worst leaders. President Nazarbayev has, per the New York Times, "ruled Kazakhstan in an autocratic fashion since the fall of the Soviet Union" and been involved in crackdowns on unions with a body count; the New Yorker has reported on his ambitions to build a cosmopolitan Western-style capital, the sort of place West might feel comfortable.

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