Kanye West visiting the White House should not be a big deal. The main reason people are even talking about it is because he breaks from the norm by supporting President Donald Trump as a black celebrity. Several leftist commentators widely criticized the visit and even clutched their pearls over Kanye using profanity during the meeting, but failed to remember that Vice President Joe Biden once used profanity while celebrating the passing of Obamacare in the White House and that President Barack Obama was overheard calling Kanye a “jack*** in an interview.”
Leftist commentators criticized his appearance at the White House on Thursday including CNN’s Don Lemon who called it “a minstrel show” and CNN’s Chris Cuomo who questioned, “How is it okay to put Kanye on display like this?” Some resorted to attacking his mental health, bringing up his dead mother and his wife’s ex-lover to criticize him.
Celebrities visiting the White House is not unusual. In fact, according to The Washington Post, the Obamas welcomed hundreds of performers to the White House, several, more than once. While some of Obama’s guests caused controversy as well, the criticisms of Kanye were truly next level. Here are five rappers that caused controversy for reasons beyond just supporting the president.
1. Rick Ross - Rick Ross visited the White House in 2016 sporting a court-mandated ankle monitor — that went off during the meeting — that he received after being charged with a misdemeanor for kidnapping and assault. The meeting was to discuss the “My Brother’s Keeper initiative,” and was attended by several other celebrities.
2. Kendrick Lamar - Kendrick Lamar was invited to the White House for the Fourth of July barbeque in 2016. His visit was widely criticized due to his lyrics about police officers and his performance of his song “Alright” on top of a vandalized police car.
3. Common - More controversy ensued when rap superstar Common was invited in 2011 perform at the White House due to his comments about police including, "black strap to make the cops run." He also has several lyrics about Assata Shakur, a terrorist who was convicted in 1977 of killing a New Jersey State Trooper but later escaped prison and was granted political asylum in Cuba.
4. Snoop Dogg - Snoop Dogg visited the White House in 2013, and then later bragged that he snuck marijuana into the White House in his sock and then smoked it in the White House bathroom.
5. Jay Z - Jay Z visited the White House more than once. Apart from some criticisms of his lyrics where he calls women “b******” and “ho**,” the controversy stemmed from the use of the situation room for a photo-op.