The Lupe Fiasco Fiasco

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Ben Cohen
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It's hard to know what the real story is here, but rapper and activist Lupe Fiasco was kicked off of stage at an inauguration party in Washington, D.C over the weekend after singing a 30 minutes anti-war, anti Obama song and refusing to move on to another track. From Politico:

Lupe Fiasco was asked to leave the stage during his performance at an inauguration party in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.

The rapper had been repeating politically charged lyrics for an unusually long time when event officials forced him to stop, according to various attendees.

“So Lupe played one anti-war song for 30 min and said he didn't vote for Obama and eventually was told to move on to the next song,” Josh Rogin, a reporter at Foreign Policy,tweeted from the bash hosted by StartUp RockOn. “Lupe refused to move to the next song so a team of security guards came on stage and told him to go.”

The hosts of the event released the following statement arguing Fiasco was not kicked off for political reasons:

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. Lupe Fiasco repeated the one song for more than 40 minutes.

Regardless, you have to give it to Lupe. He's a committed activist and one who is willing to actually risk his career for his beliefs. The rapper has long been a critic of Obama's foreign policy despite the President's massive popularity, and regularly does his bit to expose the criminal behavior of the US government abroad. Wherever you stand on Obama's Presidency, it is important not to white wash it by labeling it 'good' or 'bad'. Lupe presents the uncomfortable truth about one aspect of Obama's Presidency and he has every right to speak his mind.