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Hip-Hop News: Diamond Industry Upset Over Kanye West Song
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Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
6/23/2005 10:33:15 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Kanye West.

This is a perfect example of how Hip Hop can ideally be used. Seems like corporations have no problem when artists run around freely giving props to their products resulting in the masses rushing out and buying whatever they heard being rapped about. However, when a popular artists starts shining light on a bad situation resulting in the masses staying home, suddenly we have a problem that needs to be corrected.
 
 Props to Kanye West for speaking about a terrible situation in Sieera Leonne.. Now lets see whether or not big time politics, money and pressure shuts him and that song down.. Lets hope not.. More importantly lets encourage more artists to do the same..
 
 - D
 
 Hip-hop star gives diamonds bad rap
 By Susan Thea Posnock 
 
 New York -- When rapper Kanye West first wrote his new single "Diamonds from Sierra Leone," the song had a title De Beers would have been proud of: "Diamonds are Forever."
 
 But, Vibe magazine reports that West reworked the song when he heard about conflict diamonds. Now the lyrics and new video—which premiered on BET last night—contrast the bling with the darker side of the trade.
 
 "I wanted to do whatever I could to learn more and educate people about the problem," West told Billboard. The cut is No. 27 this week on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and will air on MTV's Total Request Live on Monday.
 
 MTV reports that West pleads in his rap, "Good morning, this ain't Vietnam/ Still, people lose hands, legs, arms for real." Later in the song, he asks, "These ain't conflict diamonds, is they Jacob?"
 
 Diamond Information Center spokesman Carson Glover said in an e-mailed statement that the issue of conflict diamonds is one the industry takes very seriously, and is united against.
 
 "While we have not viewed Mr. West's new video, the lyrics of the song certainly do not reflect the tremendous work the diamond industry has done in conjunction with the [United Nation's] sanctioned Kimberly Process introduced in 2000," Glover said. "In response to the Kimberley Process governmental scheme, the diamond industry introduced a ‘certificate of origin’ allowing only legitimate diamonds to be traded on the global market, therefore creating a zero tolerance environment for conflict diamonds around the world."
 
 He added, "The volume of conflict diamonds in circulation is believed to have dropped below 1 percent, if any at all, and it is virtually impossible for unscrupulous dealers to sell non-certified rough diamonds."
 
 "Diamonds" is the first single off of West's second record "Late Registration" which comes out in August. His debut album, "The College Dropout" has sold 2.7 million copies in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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