British rapper Pa Salieu has claimed to have been removed from the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony after being told he had “failed a background check”.
On Tuesday, August 2 on social media, the rapper told his fans that he would not be performing at the Birmingham event later this month after receiving a call that he was being taken off the show.
In a statement, Salieu – who moved to nearby Coventry at the age of 8 – claimed the move was related to a previous lawsuit, writing: “I can’t keep quiet about this stuff!! I’ve already had to cancel 90 percent of my shows this year because the Department of the Interior won’t process the paperwork I need to travel abroad until my lawsuit is finalized.”
At Warwick Crown Court earlier this year, Salieu was acquitted of violent disorder during a 2018 brawl in which his friend Fidel Glasgow – the grandson of The Specials singer Neville Staple – was stabbed to death. However, he was convicted of possessing a bottle as an assault weapon.
He continued: “I fully cooperated with the process. Every day on time at the court. The trial ended in March, but they continue to move the final sentencing date, which would be May.”
Salieu, winner of the TBEN’s Sound of 2021 award, went on to say: “I have consistently tried to use my career to show people where I come from that there is another life ahead of us. A way from the roads. But what can you do if the police, the justice system and the Ministry of the Interior don’t care about you and do everything they can to prevent you from trying to move on with your life?’
TBEN contacted the Commonwealth Games for comment and received this statement from a Birmingham 2022 spokesperson: “Everyone involved in the Games will go through the same accreditation process; including our volunteers, artists, athletes, contractors and staff. We cannot comment on individual accreditation requests. This process facilitates the delivery of the Games.”
Salieu concluded his statement by writing: “Next week’s performance should have been a celebration. “What’s the real reason here?? How can you not pass a ‘background check’ at a closing ceremony. What does that even mean?”
Pa Salieu’s representative has been asked for comment.