Beyoncé and Lupe Fiasco: your inauguration-scandal roundup

Lost in Showbiz confesses it intends to skirt over the matter of Beyoncé's alleged miming of The Star Spangled Banner.

Beyoncé and Lupe Fiasco: your inauguration-scandal roundup When it comes to artists miming, LiS always finds itself recalling the sage words of Sir Cliff Richard after Liza Minnelli was alleged to have lip-synched her way through her 2002 Royal Albert Hall comeback show: "It is so much more difficult to mime than to actually sing because you have to step back and realise you can't give it your all because it won't look right because you are miming." It remembers those words and nods to itself: yes, Sir Cliff, that is probably why people mime onstage, isn't it? To make it more difficult for themselves.

It intends to dwell on the Beyoncé issue only long enough to raise a quizzical eyebrow at the staunch, if slightly elliptical defence of the singer mounted by Motown legend Smokey Robinson: "It's like someone said, 'Oh man, I had a great beautiful bouncing baby boy, it's in great shape, it has all its fingers and toes,'" the Motown legend suggested. "And then people saying: 'It has too much placenta.'" A cynical voice might suggest it's a bit more like someone saying: "Oh man, I had a great beautiful bouncing baby boy, it's in great shape, it has all its fingers and toes," and then people saying: "Well, no you didn't, did you? You were just pretending to have one. And that's not a baby, it's a Magic Potty Baby Born doll."

LiS also notes that news that the bloke out of Milli Vanilli had also sprung to her defence ("don't be a hater") amounts to one of the great well-he-would-say-that-wouldn't-he? moments of our time. And with that, LiS moves on.

It moves on to another inauguration celebration, this time an event hosted by a group called StartUp RockOn in Washington DC last Sunday. Here, LiS is saddened to report, the headlining artist, rapper Lupe Fiasco, was removed from the stage by security after telling the audience that he didn't vote for Barack Obama and performing a 30-minute version of his track Words I Never Said, which variously contends that 9/11 was an inside job, that the war on terror is "just a bunch of bullshit" and that "Obama didn't say shit" about the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip.

LiS particularly liked the indignant tone subsequently struck by one of the group's sponsors, a self-styled "next-generation news site" and "occasional rouser of rabble" called Hypervocal on Twitter. They were apparently "disappointed" that Lupe Fiasco had "made a political statement", politics clearly having no role to play in the inauguration of the President of the United States. Don't be so vocal and stop that rabble-rousing at once: that seemed to be rouser-of-rabble Hypervocal's general message.

Whatever you think of Mr Fiasco's position vis-a-vis 9/11 and the current incumbent of the White House and the issues of freedom of speech raised by manhandling a performer offstage when he says something you don't like, the situation that developed on Sunday night was obviously very embarrassing. Of course, LiS wouldn't presume to dole out wise-after-the-event advice to the people responsible for organising the musical entertainment at StartUp RockOn events. It merely offers up a hypothetical scenario. Were LiS given the job of arranging the lineup for a gig celebrating the inauguration of Obama as president of the United States it might consider asking itself a couple of questions. Question one: has the rapper we've pencilled in as headliner appeared on national television not once, but twice, in the last couple of years describing Obama as "the biggest terrorist in the United States"? Question two: has the rapper we've pencilled in as headliner at any point in the last couple of years given an interview to a radio station in which he claimed Obama was "a great speaker who kills little children" and, furthermore, compared him to a drug dealer who indiscriminately opens fire in a restaurant while seeking revenge for his cousin's death, murders the restaurant's entire clientele, including a little girl, then refuses to accept responsibility for his actions?

If the answer to these questions is: "No, he definitely hasn't described Obama as a terrorist or a child-murderer or compared him to a mass-murdering drug dealer", then LiS would waste no time in booking him, safe in the knowledge that – to paraphrase the Beatles – a splendid time is doubtless guaranteed for all. But – and it's a big but – if the answer to those questions was: "Do you know what? I think he has variously described Obama as a terrorist child-killer who could be compared to a drug dealer indiscriminately opening fire in a restaurant and killing everyone in it", LiS would strongly consider booking someone else for its event celebrating the inauguration of Obama in case things onstage went a little bit "off-message".

But that's just what LiS would do were it in that position, which of course it isn't. As things stand, it simply looks forward to the next Obama-linked StartUp RockOn event, featuring Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, Meat Loaf, former Velvet Underground drummer Maureen Tucker, and your comperes for the evening Glenn Beck and Donald Trump.

Powered by article was written by Alexis Petridis, for The Guardian on Thursday 24th January 2013 17.07 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010