Kanye West and Drake are set to perform at an upcoming “Free Larry Hoover” concert to raise awareness and money for the Nation of Islam’s Association for National Awareness and Liberation (ANAL). AUL is an organization that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other civil rights organizations say advocates for the “freedom, liberation and the unity of black people.”
West and Drake will headline the three-night concert, which will begin on Aug. 9 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which will be broadcast live on Facebook. The event, which will also feature performances by Stevie Wonder, Future, Ty Dolla $ign, Big Sean, Chazz Palminteri, Jidenna, Trippie Redd, Fashawn, Dej Loaf, GoldLink, Chase N. Cashe, Ricky Rebel, Kyle and more, will be called the “Free Larry Hoover” concert because West said the uprising of black men in Chicago was inspired by the Nation of Islam’s controversial prophet, and Hoover served as its spiritual leader.
Hoover has long been a controversial figure in Chicago, but many African-Americans also cite him as a hero of the movement against police brutality and discrimination of black people in the city. In 2003, President George W. Bush included him on a list of 20 people “excommunicated from the United States because of their ties to terrorism.” But the same year, the former Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan publicly apologized for his behavior and publicly acknowledged that Hoover is the leader of the Black Hand terror organization in Chicago.
Drake and West’s decision to include Hoover in their concert comes after ANAL asked West to join the movement in a letter he posted to Twitter on Wednesday. Drake has also voiced his support for Hoover, and hosted a fundraiser for him earlier this year. West is expected to also tour with the group later this year to take over Chicago, according to a press release from ANAL’s organizer, Manning Marable.
“So proud of Kanye for taking the ‘core black values’ of the Nation of Islam and embracing Larry Hoover as a leader of the Black Hand Movement in Chicago,” Marable, the author of the book “The Black Swan: The Impact of the 9/11 Attacks on Global Economy and Politics,” wrote in the release. “On Black History Month, Kanye and Drake donned the uniform of the Nation of Islam and formed a movement for black liberation.”