Lupe Fiasco pulled from stage at inauguration-related event
Lupe Fiasco performs at the Hollywood Palladium on Oct. 17, 2012, in Hollywood, Calif. / Getty
Security pulled rapper Lupe Fiasco off stage Sunday in the middle of his performance at StartUp RockOn's inauguration event Sunday night at The Hamilton in Washington.
Video shows that Fiasco was in the midst of his anti-war song, "Words I Never Said," when he criticized President Barack Obama, saying he didn't vote for him.
"Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist," the 30-year-old Chicago rapper said during his headlining performance. "Gaza Strip was getting bombed, Obama didn't say [expletive]. That's why I ain't vote for him, next one either."
According to The Washington Post, about 30 minutes into the song, guards showed up to escort him off the stage.
"Lupe Fiasco just got thrown off stage here at the Hamilton Live after he went on an anti-Obama diatribe mid set," tweeted Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy. According to Rogin, Fiasco was asked to move on to the next song, but when he refused "a team of security guards came on stage and told him to go."
HyperVocal, a company backing StartUp RockOn, tweeted, "Disappointed that an artist took opportunity to use an event celebrating innovation/startups to make a political statement."
But that's not the story that was conveyed early Monday morning, according to a statement released by StartUp RockOn: "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."
"The party continued as planned, and we celebrated the announcement of CodeNow's winning the Grant Challenge. CodeNow is a non-profit startup based in Washington DC that teaches underrepresented high school students basic skills in computer programming."
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