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Talib Kweli cancels show after venue “refuses to apologize” for booking Taake

The Roots Jam Sessions at Gramercy Theatre
Talib Kweli at The Roots Jam Sessions in January (more by P Squared)

UPDATE: Taake’s Kansas City show has now been cancelled.

Norwegian black metal vets Taake have been in the news after their NYC and Chicago shows were cancelled due to resurfaced allegations of Nazism caused by frontman Hoest performing with a swastika painted on his chest in 2007 and accusations of Islamophobia due to certain lyrics. Yesterday, opener King Dude dropped off the tour, and today rapper Talib Kweli has cancelled his upcoming show at Kansas City’s Riot Room due to their “[refusal] to apologize” for booking Taake. Here’s Talib’s full statement, via Pitchfork:

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.

Hoest responded to the cancellations in a statement, saying that wearing the swastika was a moment of misjudgment and not something that he repeated. He added, “Once and for all, Taake is not a racist band. Never has been, never will be.” Hoest also recently addressed claims of Islamophobia in an interview with Metal Insider, saying, “‘islamophobic?’ A phobia is an irrational mental illness. So quite the contrary, religion is an irrational mental illness.”

For Talib Kweli, the Riot Room show would have been one of several dates on his tour, which includes two Brooklyn shows in April. He and Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) also appear to have a new Black Star album on the way.

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