Kanye West and Donald Trump may be ‘longtime’ friends, but that doesn’t mean West was invited to perform at Trump’s inauguration.
Considering West’s public support of Trump and his status as one of the biggest musical acts in the world, an invite to play Trump’s flailing inauguration seems like a no-brainer, right?
“We haven’t asked him.”
That was the response the chair for the inauguration committee, Tom Barrack, gave CNN today. “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, and Kanye is a great guy but we just haven’t asked him to perform.”
With West’s recent cancellation of his Saint Pablo Tour and hospitalization for exhaustion, we would understand if the rapper declined an offer to play, but not even being asked to perform opens up a barrage of questions.
First of all, not the venue? West has played just about every arena in North America and Europe. He’s headlined major music festivals. He’s performed on every major award show and late night show stage. He’s been on SNL multiple times. We fail to see the inauguration venue as one West couldn’t perform at.
Next of course is the statement that the entertainment portion of the inauguration is filled. The upcoming January 20 event has been in the headlines for weeks thanks to its inability to book any big name artists. David Foster, Charlotte Church, Elton John, Andrea Bocell, and Celine Dion are just some of the musicians who have publicly declined an invite to perform. Broadway star Jennifer Holliday recently dropped out of Trump’s inauguration following the backlash. Even a Bruce Springsteen cover band that had played both of Obama‘s inaugurations backed out of their performance to honour Springsteen’s feelings towards Trump. So yeah, the set list isn’t ‘filled.’
So far, Trump’s inauguration features a skeleton line-up of ‘venue-appropriate Americans,’ including The Rockettes (at least some of them), one-hit-wonders Three Doors Down, and the very-Irish Riverdancer Michael Flatley. West’s former stepmother in-law Caitlyn Jenner, who West and wife Kim Kardashian West are very close with, is also reportedly appearing at the inauguration. Still, no invite for Yeezy.
By far, the most troubling part of the statement and the one that stands out in the already convoluted paragraph is ‘typically and traditionally American.’ What does that mean?
West was born and raised in Chicago, a city that is still located in the US the last time we checked. He has a total of 21 Grammy Awards, proving he’s been well received by the American public. He’s a business owner in the US, owns property in the US, and lives in the US. So, how exactly is Kanye West not ‘typically and traditionally American?’
Hm. We just can’t decipher what Trump’s team is implying, or maybe… yes we can.