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Commentary: Beyonce, Lupe fiascos left mark on Obama inauguration

Courtesy of MCT

This is part of a weekly series called “Pop Opinions” where The Lantern offers its take on the week’s pop culture news.

Celebrities steal show at inauguration
Politics tend to have some crossover with popular culture during election season, whether it be celebrities endorsing candidates or musicians performing at campaign events. This crossover escalated into the beginning of this week with President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
National anthem lip-synched
Beyoncé Knowles performed the national anthem at the ceremony, but soon after, speculation arose as to whether she actually sang live or whether a pre-recorded track was used. Several sources confirmed Wednesday that Knowles did in fact use a pre-recorded track, and it was additionally reported that she had been sick at the time of the performance.
While some fans and columnists alike have expressed disappointment that Knowles did not perform live, my question is, why does it matter? She clearly had a reason for using the track, and had she performed live and messed up the words, wouldn’t we be just as up-in-arms? Personally, I’d rather hear Knowles’ flawless voice from a pre-recorded track than hear her sing while sick and battling the 40-degree weather and nerves (If the great Beyoncé even still gets nervous, but I’d imagine performing for the president would be pretty nerve-wracking).
Lupe Fiasco preaches anti-war message at inauguration weekend concert
In a pre-inauguration concert, rapper Fiasco performed “Words I Never Said,” rapping, “(Rush) Limbaugh is a racist / Glenn Beck is a racist / Gaza strip was getting bombed / Obama didn’t say s— / That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one either / I’m part of the problem / My problem is I’m peaceful.”
While I guess a concert honoring the president’s inauguration garnered attention for Fiasco to reveal his true feelings about Obama, it ended up reflecting poorly on him as an immature move. Instead of making Obama look bad, Fiasco walked away looking like the fool, and left the performance earlier than planned, although he was not removed from the stage.
Perhaps this could have been avoided altogether if Fiasco had never been invited to perform in the first place, as he revealed a similar opinion of the president in a 2011 interview with CBS, saying, “The biggest terrorist is Obama and the United States of America. I’m trying to fight the terrorism that’s actually causing the other forms of terrorism.” It seems like he was just a poor choice for the concert to begin with.
Charlie Brown arrested for stalking
In a bizarre piece of news Wednesday, it turns out the actor who lent his voice to Charlie Brown in several “Peanuts” programs was arrested for stalking, according to several reports. Peter Robbins, who voiced Charlie Brown in “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” had been wanted on a felony warrant by the San Diego County Sheriff, according to U-T San Diego.
I grew up watching the “Peanuts” specials at every holiday, and part of the positive image I had of Charlie Brown is tainted by this news. The “Peanuts” gang always held an innocent quality in my mind, so associating Charlie Brown with stalking is pretty horrifying. I guess golden childhood memories can be altered in an instant.


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