By Justin Sink - 01/21/13 12:52 PM EST
The organizers at an event celebrating startup companies pulled the plug on rapper Lupe Fiasco Sunday night after he reportedly performed an an anti-war song criticizing President Obama for half an hour.
"Lupe Fiasco performed at this private event, and as you may have read, he left the stage earlier than we had planned," organizers said in a statement. "But Lupe Fiasco was not 'kicked off stage' for an 'anti-Obama rant.' We are staunch supporters of free speech, and free political speech. This was not about his opinions. Instead, after a bizarrely repetitive, jarring performance that left the crowd vocally dissatisfied, organizers decided to move on to the next act."
Video of the performance shows the artist criticizing the president along with prominent conservative commentators.
A team of security guards and organizers approached the artist onstage and encouraged him to move on, Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin reported on Twitter. Video of the event shows the rapper smiling during the confrontation, then waving to the crowd as he departs.
One of the conference's sponsors — HyperVocal, an online news aggregator — tweeted soon after that it was "disappointed" with the performance.
Disappointed that an artist took opportunity to use an event celebrating innovation/startups to make a political statement. #StartUpRockOn— hypervocal (@hypervocal) January 21, 2013