Talib Kweli has backed out of his upcoming Kansas City show at the Riot Room. The legendary artist/activist has decided to not continue with the date after learning from fans that the said venue has also booked controversial Norwegian metal band Taake, amid allegations of racism and discrimination towards the band.
In a statement, Kweli expressed his feelings over the booking. “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 canceled the show.”
Taake’s NYC and Chicago shows had been canceled due to resurfaced allegations of Nazism. The alleged allegations are specifically aimed towards the frontman of Taake, Hoest who performed with a swastika painted on his chest back in 2017. There have also been accusations of Islamophobia due to specific lyrics in Taake songs. The band denies these allegations, with Hoest leaving a statement:
“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
This statement was in response to a show in New York at Le Poisson Rouge being cancelled amid pressure from Antifa groups like New York City Antifa.
Taake is playing Le Poisson Rouge @lprnyc on March 24th in NYC. Please let the space know how you feel about such matters: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, (212) 505-3474 https://t.co/UgWxzgYOON
— New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) February 9, 2018
The scheduled stop by Kweli was set to occur this Wednesday at The Riot Room in Kansas City, MO in support of his latest album Radio Silence. Fans informed the rapper that the venue was also hosting Taake for a March performance. Even though other venues have issued statements denouncing the band, The Riot Room still refuses to denounce publicly and apologize for booking Taake.
The Black Star rapper’s statement further elaborates on his decision to pull out of the show.
“My position is that the venue should not want to host that band whether the band canceled 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 canceled the show. It’s a shame because I was really looking forward to performing in Kansas City.”
The show at the Riot Room would have been one of several stops on his current tour. Kweli will continue his tour in the rest of the cities.
In related news, King Dude has issued a statement after the band dropped off his opening spot on tour with Taake. In the statement he explains his decision to back away from the tour, affirming his Luciferian beliefs and stating that he refused to endorse a setting that allows hate to happen. He added, “My concerts are a place that should be a sanctuary for everyone, a place for people to find church without having to go to one.”