Kanye West may be a friend of President-elect Donald Trump, but Trump’s team reportedly didn’t have the hip-hop artist in mind for Friday’s inauguration.
Tom Barrack, chairman of Trump’s Presidential Inauguration Committee, told CNN’s Erin Burnett that the inauguration wouldn’t be an appropriate venue for West, a hugely influential but polarizing figure in music.
“He’s been great, he considers himself a friend of the president-elect, but it’s not the venue,” Barrack said. “It’s going to be typically and traditionally American, and Kanye is a great guy – we just haven’t asked him to perform. And we move on with our agenda.”
The “traditionally American” reasoning is sure to rankle some, given that West is a uniquely American artist – born in Atlanta, raised in Chicago, and working in a genre that is native to the US and that draws on the country’s traditional musical forms.
West met with Trump in December in New York City after Trump was elected president, leading to a strange photo opportunity in the lobby of Trump Tower.
The Trump inaugural committee has run into trouble booking A-list talent to perform, according to multiple reports. Headliners for the inauguration include 3 Doors Down and the country artists Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood.