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Model Claims Kanye West Exploited Young People at Album Launch

Kanye West has come under fire yet again following his fashion line and album launch on Thursday evening. The rapper and designer debuted his collection Yeezy 3 at a sold-out show in Madison Square Gardens, using his seventh album The Life of Pablo as music for the event. The show took place on the first day of New York Fashion Week, and was live-streamed on Tidal, acting as a live ‘listening party’ for the release of the album. Earlier in the week it was revealed that Kanye had enforced a list of 38 rules for the models to follow for the duration of the show. However, unlike other fashion shows, the models had to stand on stage for a full 30 minutes whilst The Life of Pablo was played to the audience, adhering to Kanye’s strict rules throughout the entire album. Naomi Campbell and Veronica Webb, who made a brief appearance at the event, were the only two models exempt from these rules. See below for the full list of rules:

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Getty Images
  • Quiet Please
  • No Whisper
  • No Smile
  • No Dancing
  • No Singing. Unless Instructed
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Getty Images
  • No Eye Contact
  • No Acting
  • No Fast Movements
  • No Slow Movements
  • No Sharp Moves
Art and Commerce/PA Images
Art and Commerce/PA Images
  • Natural Movement
  • Show Pride
  • Hold Your Position
  • Stay In Character
  • Alternate between attention and ease
Art and Commerce/PA Images
Art and Commerce/PA Images
  • No sitting down all at the same time
  • Do not make the same movements at the same time
  • If you want to move you can shift your weight
  • If you are tired, sit down or lye (sic) down.
  • Concentrate, focus
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Getty Images
  • Do not look at camera
  • Hold positions until the end of the show
  • Do not take off your clothes or your shoes
  • Loosen up, no stiffness
  • Do not be casual
Art and Commerce/PA Images
Art and Commerce/PA Images
  • Stand straight
  • No sexy posing
  • Do not act cool
  • You are a picture
  • Be calm. Be strong. Be neutral
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Getty Images
  • Behave as if no one was in the room
  • Do not break the rules
  • Know that your actions reflect within the group
  • Your behavior affects the conduct of others
  • Be aware of others and be precautios (sic)
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Getty Images
  • Before the end of the performance get up and stand up straight
  • Keep your assigned position on the floor
  • Do not ever look at the jumbotron
Art and Commerce/PA Images
Art and Commerce/PA Images

But despite the models’ hard work and rule-following, one of the fashion show’s extras has hit out at Kanye, claiming that none of the people working at the event were paid for their efforts. Kur-ents uploaded a photo to Instagram with the caption ‘Lmao I was on the megatron at Madison for yeezy 3. shit was trash. Kanye finnessed 1200 young black adults into working as extras for free to a sold out white crowd that was screaming “all day nigga”. We didn’t find out we weren’t getting paid til 6am. He sent us to jersey and put us in Salvation Army clothes (not yeezy, my pants were carhartt and my shirt was American apparel). I jugged some sambas from wardrobe though’

SIPA/REX/Shutterstock
SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

The photo gained popularity on Twitter, racking up over 2,000 comments from social media users. Several Kanye fans immediately jumped to the rappers defence, leaving comments on the photo such as ‘Id pay Kanye to let me model his clothes quit complaining’ and ‘I would still be a Yeezy model if Kanye didn’t pay me’. That opens up so many doors’. However, others showed support for Kur-ents, saying ‘Kanye literally needed to pay extras minimum wage to make his record release party not look pathetic’. Kanye has yet to respond to the accusation.

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