Kanye West has become hip-hop’s most prominent Donald Trump supporter. However, that doesn’t mean he’ll be performing at the President-elect’s inauguration this week.
On Wednesday (Jan. 18), the Presidential Inauguration Committee Chair, Tom Barrack Jr., confirmed that Yeezy would not be performing at the event.
When asked about Yeezy’s involvement by CNN, Barrack said: “We haven’t asked him. I mean, he’s been great. He considers himself a friend of the president-elect, but 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. Kanye’s a great guy. We just haven’t asked him to perform. We move on with our agenda.”
Many have criticized Barrack’s choice of words for indicating that the American-born rapper didn’t qualify as “typically and traditionally American.”
“Typically and traditionally American?” asked a Twitter user. “Is that how we say ‘white’ these days?” Another added: “‘Typically and traditionally American’ seems like a very long-winded way of saying ‘white.’”
Trump’s inauguration has been the source of division and criticism for many. This week, Chrisette Michele announced that she would be singing at the event. Following backlash from the likes of Spike Lee, the R&B singer penned an open letter.
“My heart is broken for our country, for the hopes of our children, for the fights of those who came before us,” she wrote. “I cry at the thought that Black History, American History might be in vain. This country has had great moments. God has shined His light upon us. Today, I hope that Great Moments begin in peaceful & progressive conversation. I am willing to be a bridge. I don’t mind These Stones, if they allow me to be a voice for the voiceless.”
Some musicians, including Jennifer Holliday, have backed out of performing at the inauguration following a wave of criticism.
Kanye West has also been bashed for his affiliation with Trump. Last year, the rapper endorsed and met with the President-elect. “I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues,” ‘Ye tweeted. “These issues included bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums, and violence in Chicago. I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change.”