Kanye West Concert Interrupts NYC Neighborhood

Yo, traffic, I’ma let you finish, but Kanye West did the best job of bothering New Yorkers ever.

No stranger to controversy, the rapper provoked the ire of locals by shutting down the Flat Iron for his free NBA All-Star Weekend concert.

Residents took to Twitter to complain about various aspects of the forty-five minute concert, including the expected crowd size (10,000 people), the length of stage set-up (three days straight) or expect concert volume (very loud).

“Flatiron public spaces in lockdown for @kanyewest. Complete breach of public trust by @nycgov. Give us back our streets and plazas @NYC_DOT ,” tweeted Clayton Dean Smith (@Clayton_D_Smith).

Local musician Spyder Darling (@SPYDERDARLING) echoed the sentiment, tweeting, “Never mind free, #KanyeWest should have to pay Flatiron residents!”

The concert also came under fire by Manhattan’s Community Board 5, which includes the Flat Iron district. “…The Committee unanimously found that the event is inappropriate in terms of scale, duration, volume, and impact for this dense commercial and residential area,” wrote Board Chair Vikki Barbero in an open letter to city officials. Protesting the lack of community involvement over event planning, Babero called for a higher level of transparency from city officials, and to establish a method of gaining community approval.

Emil Lissauer, Acting Director of Citywide Events Coordination and Management, reassured worried residents, saying in a statement, “The city is committed to ensuring safety at all events while minimizing traffic disruption and impact on local residents, and this event is no exception.”

“The pedestrian traffic was definitely a lot worse today,” Jay, a businessperson who works in a building directly overlooking where the stage was set up. This sentiment was echoed in grumbles and complaints from walkers told by police officers the sidewalk was closed and to turn around and try again.

Despite the outcry from residents, fans came in droves to enjoy the rare chance to see the high-profile rapper for free. Tickets were given out to fans through Roc Nation record label and the hip-hip radio station, Power 105.

“This was my first time seeing Kanye, otherwise, I could not pay to see Kanye,” said Brooklyn resident Dave Ezeugwu. “Way too much, especially at this point in his career, so I’m really glad he did this show.”

“People who live in the area, people were watching in the buildings, and they were loving it. We were waving at them and all,” said Ofo Ezeugwu, a long-time Kanye fan and New Yorker in response to the controversy.

“I actually watched the concert from the window of my office, so it didn’t bother me,” said someone who wished to be identified as S, because her employer had forbid employees from watching. “It was a really cool experience.”

West is fresh off of his second award interrupting controversy, this time rushing the Grammy stage to protest Beck winning Best Album over Beyoncé. The rapper and fashion connoisseur also recently announced a sneaker collaboration with Adidas in the Flat Iron District.