The connection between Donald Trump and rap

[If you dig into the history of rap, you’ll find more references to Donald Trump that you might expect. The Washington Post has this story on Trump’s appearance in rap songs over the years. – AC]

“Imagine if you’d only ever heard of Donald Trump in rap songs. You’d know him as a personification of wealth, an avatar of luxury, a role model, a villain, a hustler, a brand name, a punchline, a dark cloud, a bad haircut, a boss, a bigot, a king of his own reality, and fundamentally, a syllable that rhymes with “slump,” “pump” and “chump.” When Trump‘s name appears in a rap lyric — something that has occurred in more than 300 songs over the past 30 years — it can mean countless things. Rap music remains broad and flexible like that.

“Still, many have accepted this idea that rappers loved Trump up until his 2016 presidential campaign — a shift marked by “FDT,” the paranoid protest anthem released that year by YG and Nipsey Hussle. Before “FDT,” rappers embraced Trump as a Machiavellian Monopoly Man who spelled his name in gold letters. After “FDT,” he was a racist, a cheat, a fraud.

“The pivot was never that tidy. In fact, even during the ’90s, when Trump’s name kept jumping from the mouths of some of the greatest rappers alive — Scarface, E-40, Raekwon, Nas — he was only being used. These rappers weren’t praising Trump. They were using Trump’s image to praise themselves.

“Strangely, the infamy of Trump and the emergence of rap music had already been flowing in parallel for more than 20 years.”

Read the rest at the Washington Post.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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