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Kanye West Was Not Asked To Perform At "Typically And Traditionally American" Inauguration

"He considers himself a friend of the president-elect, but it's not the venue... It's going to be typically and traditionally American," inauguration planner Tom Barrack said.

Last updated on January 19, 2017, at 12:50 p.m. ET

Posted on January 19, 2017, at 11:19 a.m. ET

Inauguration planner Tom Barrack has revealed Kanye West was not asked to perform at Trump's inauguration, which he described as a "typically and traditionally American" event.

View this video on YouTube

Barrack made the comments on CNN on Monday, adding that "Kanye is a great guy, we just haven't asked him to perform."

"He considers himself a friend of the president-elect, but it's not the venue," Barrack said. "The venue we have for entertainment is filled out, it's perfect. It's going to be typically and traditionally American."

The announcement follows a much publicized photo-op between the rapper and the president-elect at Trump Tower.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images

“We’ve been friends for a long time,” Trump told reporters on Dec. 13, while posing for pictures with West.

West did not respond to questions, saying, “I just want to take a picture right now." He later tweeted that he met with Trump to “discuss multicultural issues.”

People quickly called out Barrack for seeming to equate "typically and traditionally American" with, well, white:

Typically and traditionally American? Is that how we say 'white' these days?

"Traditionally American" might be my new least favorite euphemism for "white."

Lmaooooo Racism still alive they just be concealing it.

And many are scratching their heads at the idea of Toby Keith and 3 Doors Down being more "traditionally American" than West.

Yeah. Like baseball, apple pie, and Three Doors Down.

The idea that Toby Keith is traditionally American and Kanye isn't ... that's that pervasive racism that runs thru this country that ppl

Wonder what being "Traditionally American" could POSSIBLY mean with a lineup like Toby Keith and 3 Doors Down, @kanyewest

Especially due to hip-hop's origins in the US.

If there is anything more typically and traditionally American than hip-hop, I don't know what it is.

When I think "traditionally American", I think Jazz. Blues. Hip-Hop. You know. Traditionally American BLACKNESS.

So hip hop, an art form created in America and dominated by American artists, is not "traditionally American." Okay…

"People of color aren't second-class, according to the incoming administration," said New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas. "They're just not 'typically and traditionally American.'"

People of color aren't second-class, according to the incoming administration. They're just not "typically and trad…

Trump's transition team and West did not immediately return request for comment.


An earlier version of this post included the suggestion that Kanye West was not invited to perform at the inauguration due to it being a "typically and traditionally American,” event. Barrack did not say that.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.