On the last song of Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, the rapper rhymed, "And you know me / I don't vote / But the White House / You already know / It's hood now." The lyrics were a hat tip to Barack Obama being the first Black president of the United States. But for anyone wondering if Fiasco, who has been vocally critical of the administration, was softening up politically, they need look no further than what transpired last night at a pre-inaugural celebration concert in Washington D.C.
Fiasco staged a protest at Hamilton Live by repeatedly performing the first verse of his anti-war song "Words I Never Said" off of LASERS for about a half-hour straight as his backing band improvised musically through different instrumentals. He didn't self-censor and rhymed the lines, "Gaza Strip was getting bombed / Obama didn't say shit / That's why I ain't vote for him / Next one either / I'm part of the problem / My problem is I'm peaceful."
Refusing to move on to another song, concert organizers pulled the plug as Fiasco was escorted off the stage.
StartUp RockOn released the following statement explaining their version of what transpired:
"Lupe Fiasco performed at this private event, and as you may have read, he left the stage earlier than we had planned. 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."
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Key points of the whole ordeal can be seen in the above video that's making the rounds on the internet. The lights go down as the venue drowns out the live band with music. Fiasco then takes his bow to fans as security guards exit him off the stage.
There will be no elaboration on last night's concert from the rapper on Twitter as his account is inactive. But what were the organizers of the pre-inaugural concert thinking in the first place? Fiasco is one of the lone dissident voices in mainstream hip-hop left who continues to speak truth to power in the Age of Obama.
What next? A Marilyn Manson performance scheduled on the campus of the late Jerry Falwell's Liberty University?