Grammy Award-nominee Lupe Fiasco was asked to leave the stage of an inauguration event Jan. 20, interrupting an anti-war song by the 31-year-old rapper in a performance that was characterized as “bizarre” and “jarring.”
The incident occurred at a pre-inauguration concert in Washington, D.C., at which Fiasco, hired as a headliner for the StartUp RockOn’s inauguration event at the Hamilton Live Theater, staged a 30-minute rant in which he labeled conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck racists and sang about how he didn’t vote for President Barack Obama.
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“Gaza Strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say — . That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one either,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. Amid jeering from the crowd, he was approached by a staff member of the concert organizers and walked off stage, although he was not forcibly removed.
Organizers of the event said in a statement, “He left the stage earlier than we had planned. But Lupe Fiasco was not ‘kicked off stage’ for an ‘anti-Obama rant.’”
StartUp was created by three media firms, including HyperVocal, which describes itself as “Internet Sherpas, groundskeepers of rationality, arbiters of reality and pseudo-nonsense.”