Musical Menu Is Short on Hip-Hop

Howard University News Service

The all-star lineup for the kickoff concert Sunday celebrating the inauguration of Barack Obama is a musical stew heavy on R&B blended with country, rock, classical and pop. But there’s a missing ingredient.

President-elect Obama had Jay-Z on his iPod, feigned flicking “Dirt Off Your Shoulders” at a campaign rally in Raleigh, N.C., and told Vibe that he is a fan of Kanye West. But not one rapper is on a list of scheduled performers that includes Beyonce, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, soprano Renée Fleming and U2’s Bono.

“Nah. I don’t feel it’s a slight toward hip-hop,” said rapper Joe Budden. “Barack has been seen with numerous hip-hop artists during his campaign.”

“Never mind music; we’re witnessing history as well as being a part of it,” he added. “For once, can we take the attention off our selfish [expletive] … and think like adults? … Everything ain’t about rap.”

Detroit Rapper Trick Trick said he understood why artists like him were not invited to the stage for the free concert at the Lincoln Memorial. “I know I wouldn’t be able to do it, because my music is too hard for that kinda activity.”

The hip-hop community’s affection for the president-elect did create a stir during the campaign when Atlanta rapper Ludacris’ released “Politics,” a song with these lyrics: “Hillary hated on you so that b—- is irrelevant.” The Obama campaign disavowed the song and labeled it offensive.