As celebratory events for the presidential inauguration unfolded around the nation this past weekend for President Barack Obama's second swearing-in ceremony, one musician took the opportunity to air his presidential grievances onstage.
Rapper Lupe Fiasco took to the stage at an unofficial inaugural ball held at The Hamilton in Washington, DC on Sunday (Jan. 20), performing a long song that criticized Obama. The Grammy-nominated rapper was the main act at the StartUp RockOn concert-party, and used the opportunity to inject some ugly realities into the otherwise festive event, addressing the administration's drone warfare program, and stating that he did not vote for Obama. Performed as one long song, including lyrics from "Words I Never Said," the performance was greeted harshly by the crowd, and organizers rushed to get the performer off the stage.
"[Rush] Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist," he rapped. "Gaza Strip was getting bombed, Obama didn't say shit. That's why I ain't vote for him, next one either." After security aggressively took to the stage to end the outspoken incident, a smiling Fiasco can be seen near the clip's end, leaving the platform.
"Lupe Fiasco performed at this private event, and as you may have read, he left the stage earlier than we had planned," the event's organizers said in an official statement. "But Lupe Fiasco was not 'kicked off stage' for an 'anti-Obama rant.' We are staunch supporters of free speech, and free political speech. This was not about his opinions. Instead, after a bizarrely repetitive, jarring performance that left the crowd vocally dissatisfied, organizers decided to move on to the next act."
Lupe Fiasco has often been vocal in his political views, particularly in his criticism against President Obama. During an appearance on CBS' "What's Trending" in summer 2011, Lupe called President Obama "the biggest terrorist" of the U.S. "In my fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama, and the United States of America," he told host Shira Lazar.
He then went on to explain the comment, as his publicist undoubtedly fell to the ground in convulsions: "I'm trying to fight the terrorism that's actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff that the U.S. government allows to happen, and the foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists. And it's easy for us because it's just some oil."
Whatever the case, the real offense here isn't an outspoken rapper, but rather the president's own inaugural playlist.