(AllHipHop News) Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli chose not to take his talents to Kansas City's Riot Room following the venue's decision to book TAAKE. The metal band is accused of supporting racism, Islamophobia, and white nationalism due, in part, to a photo surfacing of their frontman Hoest with a swastika painted on his chest.
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. 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.
TAAKE has denied being racist. Following the cancellation of a recent show in New York, Hoest posted a message on Facebook:
I have clearly explained many times throughout the years that me wearing a swastika once at a German concert was not at all meant to show support for the nazi ideology. It was all about doing something extreme for the sake of it, which certainly backfired. But it has now been 11 years and the band has even performed in Israel (!) Anyway, similar incidents have not happened in Taake’s 25 year long career and will obviously not happen again. But certain parties seem to find this cold case unforgivable nevertheless, insisting on wilful misunderstanding. So, once and for all, Taake is not a racist band. Never has been, never will be. Still claiming so is as ridiculous and unfounded as are the attempts at sabotaging our highly anticipated shows.
Kweli calling off his K.C. show is not surprising because he regularly voices his opinions about racism and social justice on Twitter. The "Get By" emcee is known to engage with other users with opposing views, and he posted several tweets responding to the controversy involving the Riot Room.