As an artist, what do you do when you find out your next scheduled venue has previously booked a neo-Nazi group? Do as Talib Kweli did. Just say No.
Is Norwegian black metal band TAAKE racist? Well, let’s take a quick look.
Frontman Hoest once performed with a swastika roughly drawn on his chest. Then, in a direct criticism the Muslim faith, the group’s single, ‘Orkan,’ proudly featured the following lyrics.
The group has, course, defended itself from criticisms xenophobia. Speaking about prominently featuring the swastika symbol at a performance in Germany, Hoest said,
Speaking about the controversial track’s lyrics, Hoest said,
“Our view, in the name freedom expression, is that it is shameful to adhere to Christianity or Islam.”
Note that ‘Orkan’ didn’t feature any lyrics slamming Christianity.
In a recent interview with Metal Insider, TAAKE’s frontman once again fought back against claims that they were neo-Nazis.
Most people, including popular hip-hop artist, Talib Kweli haven’t bought TAAKE’s statements. Now, after famed Kansas City venue Riot Room booked TAAKE, Kweli has canceled his upcoming performance.
In a statement lambasting the venue, the hip-hop artist said,
“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.”
The statement followed an earlier tweet where he likened the Norwegian group to Nazis.
Kweli added that the Riot Room attempted to dissuade the rapper from canceling his performance. The venue, however, didn’t apologize.
Kweli would’ve performed at the popular venue later today. TAAKE will perform there on March 31st.
TAAKE’s manager, Bjørnar Erevik, has previously dismissed the group’s alleged ties to the white supremacist movement. In an interview with Newsweek, he said,
Manhattan venue (Le) Poisson Rouge has already canceled TAAKE’s March 24th performance. The group is scheduled to perform at different venues across the United States this year.
Complaining about an organized effort to defame the group as a white-power band, Erevik added,
“It’s complete bulls—t. From the guys in the band, I don’t think they vote for anything that’s on the right side the center Norwegian politics.”
Featured image by Steven Pisano (CC by 2.0)