Kanye West Isn't "Traditionally American" Enough to Perform at Trump Inauguration

But, but but... the Chicago-raised emcee performs hip-hop, a genre birthed in New York City.

It's been widely reported over the past few weeks that President-elect Donald Trump has been unable to attract A-list performers for his presidential inauguration on Friday, January 20. Currently, '90s rock band 3 Doors Down and '90s country singer Toby Keith are the lone acts with any mainstream notoriety. Let's just say the event isn't shaping up to be the Billboard Music Awards, let alone the GRAMMYs.

Surely, if Kanye West—an A-list artist, someone who has publically voiced his support for Trump and has even taken a meeting with him—was interested in performing at the inauguration, President-elect Trump would welcome him with open arms, right?


In an interview with CNN's Erin Burnett, Tom Barrack Jr., Chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, revealed that, while West "considers himself a friend of the President-elect," he has not been asked to perform at the event because "it's not the venue." 

"The venue we have for entertainment is filled out. It's perfect. It's going to be typically and traditionally American."

First things first, if your event headliners are 3 Doors Down and Toby Keith, your bill is far from "perfect."

More importantly, though, how could the Chicago-bred West, an artist who performs hip-hop music—a genre birthed in New York City, arguably the most American city in the United States—be defined as anything but "typically and traditionally American"? 

The fact that Barrack's response was measured—he knew Burnett was going to ask the question because she says the two discussed West off camera before the interview—makes its subtext all the more disturbing. Not only do his comments come across as racist and anti-hip-hop, but their tone is, in fact, very un-American and exclusive.

In 2009, after President Obama took office, West performed at the MTV Youth Inaugural Ball. Things are a bit different eight years later, but it's not like we needed another reminder.


By DJ Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.

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