Kanye West delivered a telling lyric some time ago on a song called "All Falls Down" wherein he raps, "For that paper, look how low we’ll stoop / Even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coupe." All that said, this 2003 line resurfaced today (January 19) after a spokesperson for president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration committee told CNN that Kanye wasn’t asked to perform at the event because his music doesn’t fit with the "typically and traditionally American event."
Speaking to CNN, Tom Barrack, chairman of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, said the inauguration wasn’t exactly "fitting" of a venue for West, who infamously met up with Donald Trump last month at Trump Tower in New York City.
"He's been great, he considers himself a friend of the president-elect, but it's not the venue," he said, before adding, "It's going to be typically and traditionally American, and Kanye is a great guy, we just haven't asked him to perform. And we move on with our agenda."
Considering his last string of rants and history of surprises, Kanye not being asked to perform isn’t quite a shock like many are quick to suggest. After all, this is a guy who doesn’t just stand on platforms, he parallel parks on them to his advantage. Despite his praise for Trump and their "friendship," it’s no surprise that the PEOTUS’ political party would steer away from inviting Ye to their function.
What is surprising though, is the spokesperson's wording: "it's going to be typically and traditionally American." What does that mean? Without digging into it too much, the surface of Barrack's statement reads as a racially-veiled dog whistle. Hip-hop is as American as folk or country music and the similarities are endless. So the statement that Ye isn't "fitting" for the "traditionally American" event is just what the comment smells like, BS.
But then again, when you have someone like singer Toby Keith belting out songs with pro-lynching lyrics ("Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys / Hang them high in the street") and he being invited to the presidential inauguration, it seems as though Tom Barrack definitely has a point — Ye doesn't quite fit that "traditional" bill.
Only in America.