kanye west wasn’t “traditionally american” enough to play at the inauguration

For the record, an Irish river dancer and Italian opera singer made the cut.

by Wendy Syfret
|
20 January 2017, 3:11pm

Presidential inaugurations are traditionally star-studded events: Beyoncé performed for Obama, Michael Jackson turned out for Bill Clinton, hell, even George W. Bush got Ricky Martin on board. But since November, the world has been transfixed by the seemingly impossible task of filling the lineup for President-elect Trump's inauguration today. Elton John, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, and Ice T were among the many who refused an invite, leaving Trump's team struggling through a rolodex of reality TV contestants, forgotten bands, and under-enthused Rockettes.

But as they battle to assemble a galaxy of faded stars, many have asked: what about Kanye? Don't get us wrong, the thought of one of music's most innovative creatives standing alongside the most controversial president in modern history is deeply upsetting to fans — especially following recent months of personal turmoil for the rapper. But from a purely practical perspective, Trump's bizarre friendship with one of the biggest musicians in the world seem like a free pass when it comes to booking a waning show.

Shortly before his hospitalization at the end of last year, the hip-hop star proclaimed that had he voted, he would have voted for Trump. He later met with the President-elect at Trump Tower where the two "discussed life."

This week Tom Barrack, chairman of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, revealed that Trump's team chose to not team up with Kanye. Speaking to CNN he explained that despite their insistence that the two men have been friends for years, Kanye wasn't asked because he wasn't seen to be "typically and traditionally American." For the record, this hyper-American line up includes an Irish Riverdancer and an Italian child opera singer. Long term, we think Kanye is going to be glad he missed this party. 

Watch Tom Barrack's awkward reasoning below.

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Text Wendy Syfret
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