Well, what the fuck did the folks who booked this event expect? Lupe Fiasco’s pre-inauguration party flare-up wasn’t a surprise at all. Someone didn’t do their homework – there are a multitude of other options who would’ve gotten the same (if not better) results, but in much more entertaining fashion. Here are six rappers that would’ve done a great job standing in for Lupe (for various reasons) that come to mind immediately.
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6. Professor Griff
Public Enemy’s main rabble-rouser is no stranger to controversy and would be the most ideal choice. His comments about Jews in 1989 were so incendiary he was removed from the group and P.E.’s trademark target logo was fixed upon him immediately by the media. Like Lupe, Griff spoke out publicly against President Obama and wasn’t about to line up in any junior high school gymnasiums to pull any God damn levers. Lupe is relatively new to the ring, and an anti-Obama diatribe from a seasoned master like Griff would’ve come off as less preachy / attention ploy-ish and more radical / dangerous. Let’s not forget that Griff is purportedly a martial arts expert and the S1Ws are nothing to fuck with. Security would’ve got their asses hemmed up Betsy Ross style and the crowd and promoter would’ve gotten more bang for their buck. Plus, Griff has numerous self-made DVDs for sale – the merch table would’ve been bumpin’ something serious.
5. Chief Keef
If the promoter really wanted to stir things up, who better than Lupe’s antagonist and fellow Chicagoan? The anathema to all things positive, political and constructive could use this show to make the transition from ignorant knucklehead to political rebel. Instead of attacking the president directly, Keef could merely pull Obama to the side and say, “Look joe, here’s a list of shit I don’t like. Now fix it.” Now everyone’s happy. Then again, isn’t this cat in jail?
4. Pete Rock and CL Smooth
I’m not gonna fall into the rap generation gap and attack Lupe for the underwhelming beat-lifting of “T.R.O.Y.” for “Around My Way,” but who wouldn’t wanna hear that beat thrown down live by its original performers? And I’d pay to see CL perform “Anger In the Nation” for Big O. An underrated “political” rap song if I ever heard one. Yes, crazed Lupe fans – hip-hop music with a message did exist before Food and Liquor . Lupe himself will tell you that.
3. Kanye West
He can’t say President Obama doesn’t like black people. Well, shit, yes, he can . He can’t say Obama’s inauguration speeches could never be more epic than Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” video. Well, shit, yes, he can . Not only is Kanye the embodiment of Obama’s “yes, we can,” ethos, the king of surprise antics would never dare take the stage at an event like this and not do something bizarre and memorable. Lupe’s fellow Chicagoan would surely find a way to show his ass and find himself trending in the morning, making him a worthy replacement to rep Obama’s former political stomping ground. And maybe Kim could sit down backstage and learn about life in the unexplored terrain of monogamy from Michelle. Everybody wins here.
2. 2 Live Crew
Like Lupe, the nasty boys from Miami are no strangers to stirring up shit, yet they always came in with a patriotic lean. They wear star-spangled bandannas. Group leader, Luke, plays golf and ran for office in Miami. There’s a heavy assimilation factor to balance out the ratchetness here. On their Banned in the U.S.A. album, the group challenges the country while still giving off the idea that they’re proud to be American though all the First Amendment right violating they endured. Their system-bucking would be balanced out with enough ass, titties, patriotism and sheer insanity on stage to make it an entertaining show that satisfies all. Then there’s the showmanship factor: Any artist that actually has a real DJ (Mr. Mixxx) on stage cuttin’ it up on real turntables in 2013 gets my vote. Plus, 2 Live’s “Bad Ass Bitch” is actually a much, much better song than “Bitch Bad.” Sorry. Then again, all of this is null and void if Fresh Kid Ice’s arm is still in that fuckin’ sling.
1. Rick Ross
If I were being inaugurated, I’d love being called a “bawse” every five seconds. And at 67 BPM, Rozay makes sure you can hear it loud and clear every time. And if for no other reason, this would be so ideal because we all wanna hear the black Santa Clawse Bawse use the line “pushin’ that white on the White House lawn” on his next record. And this time, he’d actually be telling the fuckin’ truth!