Talib Kweli has pulled a live date in Kansas City, Missouri over the venue's decision to book Taake, the Norwegian metal band which has been accused of being Nazis and white nationalists. Kweli announced the news in a statement, saying of the Riot Room: “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.”
Kweli's full statement, via Pitchfork, reads: "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 been accused of harboring anti-Muslim lyrics and Nazi sympathies, allegations that date back to a 2007 incident in which lead singer Hoest appeared onstage with a swastika painted on his chest. The band has denied being racist numerous times, most recently in a February 16 Facebook post.
Pressure from antifa protestors has led to Taake's upcoming dates in New York and Chicago being canceled. Tour support King Dude also pulled out of all dates in response to Taake's politics.
The FADER has reached out to Riot Room for a response.
Meanwhile, it is believed that Kweli is working alongside Yasiin Bey and producer Madlib on a new Black Star album.