Hip-hop artist Talib Kweli cancels show after venue books band linked to white nationalism

Talib Kweli has pulled out of his upcoming tour stop at Kansas City's Riot Room after the venue booked controversial black metal band TAAKE, amid allegations of racism and discrimination. 

Kweli was scheduled to perform at The Riot Room on Wednesday in support of his latest album Radio Silence but was informed by fans that the venue was hosting TAAKE at the end of March. When a Twitter user called out Kweli after the rapper decided to cancel his show, Kweli simply responded, "If you allow a nazi band to grace your stage you support Nazis. You must work for the Riot Room."

Hip-hop artist Talib Kweli
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Hip-hop artist Talib Kweli
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 28: Rapper Talib Kweli performs onstage during the Acoustically Speaking event during the 2014 BET Experience At L.A. LIVE on June 28, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for BET)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19: Talib Kweli performs at SOB's on January 19, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 19: Talib Kweli attends 2014 Hip Hop Hall of Fame Awards at Stage 48 on May 19, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
SEATTLE, WA - FEBRUARY 07: Rapper Talib Kweli performs at Through the Eyes of Art at EMP Museum, Sky Church on February 7, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Talib Kweli Performs onstage during a Black Star set on day 1 of Wireless Festival 2015 at Finsbury Park on June 28, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: Talib Kweli and DJ Premier attend the Pete Rock 'P2' Album Release Concert at Brooklyn Bowl on June 24, 2015, in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16: Talib Kweli performs onstage during Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival 2016 at Brooklyn Bridge Park on July 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Talib Kweli performs onstage during OZY FEST 2017 Presented By OZY.com at Rumsey Playfield on July 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Ozy Fusion Fest 2017)

The Black Star rapper has released a statement further explaining his decision of pull out of the show. 

“My position is that the venue should not want to host that band whether the band cancelled or not, and should issue an apology for even booking the band. The response I received was that the venue did not want to choose sides between a band that sympathizes with racism and bigotry and me. I think it's time to choose a side," he said.

He continued: "I find it appalling that The Riot Room refuses to apologize for booking this band. I wouldn't feel safe bringing my team, family, and fans into a venue that is sympathetic to white nationalism, so I've cancelled the show. It's a shame because I was really looking forward to performing in Kansas City.”

The black metal band has been the target of controversy lately after an image surfaced of the band's frontman with a swastika painted across his chest. The band was scheduled to perform at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City on March 24 but that show has since been canceled.


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