The end of October 2012 was a life changer on the East Coast of the US.

A monster storm, a category 1 Hurricane named “Sandy,” rolled up on the New York and New Jersey area and changed the landscape of our beloved shore, killed over 100 people and wiped out entire communities in just two terrifying days.

A US President toured the devastation and bonded with an adversarial Governor to begin the rebuilding process along the shoreline. Billions of federal dollars are expected to launch the reconstruction of entire neighborhoods and help. However more funds were needed to help the countless individuals who, in many cases, have lost everything.

Just this week, musical artists of all walks of life joined with celebrities in a once in a lifetime concert at Madison Square Garden.  The 12-12-12 Concert to benefit relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy victims attracted some of the biggest names in music.

Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, The Who, Roger Waters and Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Dave Grohl and a reconfigured line-up of Nirvana were all on hand.

So with Rock and Roll so well represented, who would be the face of Hip-Hop in this once in a lifetime benefit?

It would be super-duper Rap star Rapper Kanye West took on the challenge and gave a performance that has left people with something by which to talk.

It wasn’t the ferocity of his set, which was smattered with hits from his younger days and some of the auto tunes heavy digital creations he’s pumped out before collaborating with Jay-Z on Watch The Throne.

It wasn’t his effort, which saw the Chicago-based super star run and rhyme from one side of that huge stage all the way to the other side.

It also wasn’t Kanye’s ability to bring Hip-Hop to an audience that largely appeared to have little exposure or use for the genre.

So what was it that made tongues wag the next morning and set Twitter and all of social media on fire?

Dude was rocking a skirt.


Okay, okay, my wife said, with her eyes rolling to the side in a sassy fashion, it was a kilt and that she didn’t see the big deal.

Pam Grier said via Twitter that it reminded her of an African warrior outfit.

 But for me, the sight of Kanye West spitting dope rhymes and representing the Culture in a black leather skirt with black leather pants and high tops just played as some kind of sick joke.

Jay-Z jumped in to add legitimacy, but it didn’t help.

I don’t care how large you are or how much of a fashion maven you might be, I am troubled by Kanye’s wardrobe in much the same way I am strangely angered by Tyler Perry’s continuous role as Madea.

I mean, I get that it’s comedy in Perry’s case, and men have been doing that for more than a century just to get some yuks.  But, there is something about denial in its purest form that pisses me off.

Tyler, admit it, you’ve had a tough childhood, riddled with abuse and I get it – you like wearing a dress.

So, Kanye, it sucks that you went on International TV with a chance to represent Hip-Hop while standing in a canyon of Rock super stars and you fell short.

 Because when Hip-Hop had the chance to happen, you came off looking more like Marvin the Martian than a dope MC. This edition could have been named, “The Day I Almost Wished Hip-Hop Didn’t Happen.”

So to paraphrase KRS-ONE:

“Remember you’re never too old…Kanye is rocking a skirt”

“Remember you’re never to bold…Kanye is rocking a skirt.”

“Do me a favor, wear your skirt, so Hip-Hop has an opportunity to be whack?”

Oh Yeezy, you are confounding and brilliant, but, dude, a skirt will never be the garb of the culture.

Do us all a favor and at least go back to your annoying line of colorful and tight-assed skinny jeans.

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Masta Talka

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