Rapper Lupe Fiasco was performing at StartUp RockOn's Sunday night pre-inauguration party on January 20 when he was escorted off stage by security. The dread-locked Fiasco played an anti-war song "Words I Never Said" for at least a half hour, according to The Washington Post. The song is highly critical of President Barack Obama's conduct as chief executive.
For example, it included lyrics such as "Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist. Gaza Strip was getting bombed, Obama didn't say [expletive]. That’s why I ain't vote for him, next one either." While Fiasco was told to move to the next song, he refused, according to Foreign Policy magazine. It was then that security guards came on stage and ushered him out.
According to the StartUp RockOn organizers "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."
Sponsor Hypervocal said of Fiasco's expletive-laden critique "Disappointed that an artist took opportunity to use an event celebrating innovation/startups to make a political statement. #StartUpRockOn — hypervocal (@hypervocal)."
Lupe Fiasco, a.k.a. Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, is the Chicago-born son of Muslim parents. His father, Gregory Jaco, was once a member of the Black Panther Party, a radical leftist party founded in the 1970s.
(Video from Washington Post)
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.