The Lupe Fiasco Fiasco

The good people at HyperVocal were kind enough to invite me to their pre-inaugural party. The big star: Lupe Fiasco, the rapper who put out “Kick Push” a few years ago. The problem: Getting around D.C. was impossible, and I needed to rise early to get to the inauguration itself. So I skipped it, and regretted it immediately. Late Sunday evening, my Foreign Policy colleague Josh Rogin started tweeting about a mounting disaster.

Lupe Fiasco just got thrown off stage here at the Hamilton Live after he went on an anti-Obama diatribe mid set.


So Lupe played one anti-war song for 30 min and said he didn’t vote for Obama and eventually was told to move on to the next song.

Lupe refused to move to the next song so a team of security guards came on stage and told him to go.


Rogin later filled me in. Fiasco read the lyrics to “Words I Never Said,” a 2011 track that got some attention then but wasn’t much of a hit. The key part:

Gaza strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say shit
That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one either
I’m a part of the problem, my problem is I’m peaceful
And I believe in the people.



I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bullshit
Just a poor excuse for you to use up all your bullets
How much money does it take to really make a full clip
9/11 building 7 did they really pull it
Uhh, And a bunch of other cover ups

Again, the song is nearly two years old. “If they wanted to censor Lupe Fiasco’s political views,” said Rogin, “they could not book Lupe Fiasco. It’s obvious what he thinks.” But Hypervocal let Fiasco play and play and play. “Some people were having a good timee,” said Rogin. “Some people were annoyed that the song was not ending.” He saw organizers talk to Fiasco, who… started playing the song again. And then this happened.


“He kept playing the same song again and again for half an hour,” said Rogin. “They asked him to play another song, and he refused.” So they yanked him. “An organizer came on the PA, and he said something to the effect of” ‘Not everyone has their best night all the time. Let’s keep the party going, we’ve got a great DJ.’”

The Fiasco^2 has engendered the expected angry reactions, both trollish (from Obama haters who will give one cheer to a Truther, if it looks like he was punished for offending Dear Leader) and earnest. I vividly remember the reaction when Jeezy “thanked that motherf**ker overseas that threw two shoes at George Bush.”