yeah, he's great. he's stopped by my hometown of newark a whole bunch of times, endorsed and stood up for corey booker when booker was running against the notoriously corrupt and entrenched 20+ year incumbent mayor, shape james. booker at the time was, almost on a daily basis, being unfairly slandered by james as an "uncle tom" or even a "white" candidate (being that he is only half black). so it helped that west stood up for him and helped expose james's craziness. west's visit at the time was shown in the (rather good) documentary "street fight" which covered the election.
his speaking against obama's being awarded the nobel peace prize (as several others did -- tariq ali, noam chomsky, lech walesa, fidel castro who proposed that evo morales receive it instead) was great, and obviously can be recognized now, in hindsight, as having been highly prescient at the time.
i recently saw that he had been kind of taken in by the anti-cuba crowd, which seemed a shame at first. but then i read what he actually had to say, and it turns out his criticisms are mostly valid, and he explicitly stops far short of the rabid anti-castro/pro-embargo drivel that the rest of that crowd routinely spouts. he still favors normalization of US-Cuba relations, opposes the embargo, and speaks highly of the historically strong relations between cuba and african american activists.
he flew to haiti during the 2004 coup to investigate, and was one of the few international figures who remained standing behind aristide through the coordinated assault on haitian democracy. this was being incredibly courageous in a time of insanity and brutally violent, racist, anti-democratic, US-sanctioned horror. by going there, he arguably risked his life (as there were widespread assassinations of anyone remotely associated with aristide's lavalas party) and surely his reputation (taking into account just how cowed the rest of US intellectuals were on the subject).
i remember reading his account of this one time he had a spirited dispute with amiri baraka (also from newark), whose writing i am a big fan of. if west's account is to be taken at face value, i must admit baraka was rather unfairly harsh towards him imo, but west spoke kindly of him nonetheless.