13:05 GMT +318 October 2018
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    Rapper Kanye West smiles as he listens to a question from a reporter during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House with President Donald Trump, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Washington.

    'Hip-Hop Comes to Washington': Rappers Who Visited White House Before Kanye

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    The mainstream media has kicked up a storm over the recent meeting between Donald Trump and Kanye West. The Guardian called it “bizarre” and a CNN columnist has slammed it as “high-octane foolishness.” Yet, Trump is hardly the first president to receive a rapper known for spitting explicit lyrics into the gilded halls of the White House.

    Global news is alight with what was unequivocally an unprecedented meeting between Donald Trump and Kanye West in the Oval Office.

    Donning the now iconic ‘America First' baseball cap, Mr West poured praise and adulation onto Trump as the two men sat across from one another at the president's desk on October 11. 

    READ MORE: Kanye West’s Insightful Remarks Ignored in Favor of Mockery, Derision

    "There was something about when I put this hat on, it made me feel like Superman," Kanye said in the presence of rolling cameras.

    As the two touched on everything from North Korea to the US education system, much of the world's media derided Trump and mocked the meeting as a spectacle of the absurd. 

    READ MORE: Kanye West Reveals His Surprisingly Weak iPhone Pin During Meeting With Trump

    Yet, regardless of what the public may think of Trump's decision to host West, who also goes by the nickname of ‘Yeezy,' it was hardly the first of its kind. Indeed, rap stars with a far more sinister lyrical background have been invited into the Oval Office by past presidents. 

    Common

    Former President Barack Obama's White House invited rap superstar ‘Common' to an event billed as ‘an evening of poetry' back in 2011.

    The decision was slammed in conservative media circles largely due to the rapper's controversial song lyrics sniping at former president George W. Bush and US police forces. In a song titled, ‘Letter to the Law,' Common says ‘Burn a Bush ‘cause for peace he no push no button,' and says that he has a ‘black strap to make the cops run.' 

    READ MORE: Kanye West, Jim Brown, and Donald Trump Walk Into the Oval Office…

    At the time, Fox News and other outlets expressed concern that Common's versus were openly and unapologetically endorsing the killing of policemen. 

    Yet, the White House stood steadfast by its decision. 

    Jay-Z

    Perhaps one of the most famous rap superstars on the planet, Jay-Z is no stranger to the marble floors of the White House. According to the Washington Post, throughout the Obama administration, he visited "several times." Moreover, the former president himself once declared Jay-Z to be a great inspiration to him, saying "Jay, you have been inspiring, making me want to be active in my retirement just as you have been in yours."

    As with his decision to invite Common to the highest office in the land, Obama was criticised again for inviting a man who regularly raps about selling drugs, including crack, and shooting people. Jay's wife, Beyonce, was also known to frequent the White House and socialise with President Obama's wife, Michelle. Some attacked the Obama's for this too, pointing at Beyonce's record for paying homage to the ‘Black Panthers,' who were known to employ violent tactics as a means broadcasting their political messages. 

    Rick Ross

    In 2016 an entourage of hip-hop and rap artists, including Nicki Minaj and Busta Rhymes, met with then President Obama to allegedly discuss initiatives aimed at keeping young people out of a life of crime. However eyebrows were quickly raised when it surfaced that among the group was rapper and reported drug cartel affiliate, Rick Ross. The White House meeting came not long after Ross had reportedly been charged with misdemeanour kidnapping and assault after he and his bodyguard allegedly assaulted two people working for him in 2015. Ross, along with his bodyguard, were sentenced to five years of probation after accepting the charges made against them.    

    READ MORE: Twitter Goes Postal as Kanye West Storms Apple Store With Impromptu MAGA Rant

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    rapper, Kanye West, Donald Trump, United States
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