Rappers who supported Donald Trump’s presidency raised eyebrows from the Black community and if we’re being honest, mines as well.
Yes, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be our new leaders to step in and step up. And I couldn’t be prouder. But just over a month ago, a few of hip-hop’s most prominent figures were spitting different verses.
And it still bugs me a little.
Weeks leading up to the now-historical election, proud endorsements from rappers like Lil Wayne and Mr. “F- The Police” himself, Ice Cube were slammed for choosing to work with the Trump administration. Back in October the rapper and actor went on Instagram live to announce he was working with Trump’s reelection campaign on issues pertaining to the Black community.
Needless to say, the backlash was real.
Since then, Cube, whose real name is O’Shea Jackson, has clarified his message (Nov. 30) and said that he was and is opened to working with anyone that would assist in bettering the Black community.
Trump is no stranger to the rap game
Also, let’s not forget about 50 Cent who posted on his social media about “not caring” that Trump doesn’t like Black people and criticized Biden’s tax plans. Admittedly just trolling, it seemed 50 Cent isn’t great at “reading the room”.
Donald Trump’s name has been associated with the rap community for quite some time. I vaguely remember hearing his name being dropped in various hip-hop songs often idolizing him as the epitome of wealth. Nelly, Scarface, Lil’ Wayne, Yung Joc, E-40, Chingy, and Kanye West just to name a few have name-dropped him.
West’s previous support of him has been tweaked as well, but who can forget him claiming that the MAGA hat gave him “power”? It is no secret that this leader spews misogynistic rhetoric and flaunts his riches whenever given the opportunity. And then he took it a step forward by nominating himself for president. We would just leave that there.
KANYE 2024 pic.twitter.com/Zm2pKcn12t
— ye (@kanyewest) November 4, 2020
It seems the relationship between Trump and the rap community is all about money being prioritized over morals. It’s about status over standards.
A man like such appeals to the morally bankrupt who sees fortune as a currency for the power they believe it could buy them.
Let’s take Lil’ Wayne’s Nightline interview from 2016 where he boldly stated that him being a rich man in America is proof that there isn’t racism. The controversial statement gives the notion that being wealthy in America means there’s equality and that there are no systematic hindrances in place for people of color. That because he has White fans, he’s somehow safe from racism. What triggers this way of thinking? Is it Black men being lured by the idea of acceptance? From boys wanting name brand apparel to rich Black men believing fame and fortune levels them with their oppressors. I am not saying that there is a problem with being wealthy.
However, it is a problem when a person believes that being rich excludes them from the injustices that come with being Black in America. It is a problem if a person thinks wealth automatically erases the reality that there is racism. It is a problem when a person of his notoriety dismisses the responsibility of thinking before he utters a blatant lie so proud and loud.
In the end, he went on to specify that his life matters, and Black Lives Matter has nothing to do with him. What an interesting perspective from someone who claims that his support of Trump is about advancing the Black Community.
The accumulation of wealth does not automatically equal intelligence. The arrogance of many of these rich Black rappers is very telling. In the end, many of these wealthy entertainers are more concerned with self-interest.
Conservatism is what many of them have adopted and have proven time and time again how far removed they are from the actual needs of the Black community. Whether it is blatantly supporting Trump or cuddling up close to him with plans that won’t come to fruition, their actions scream uninformed and performative.
The president has been quoted saying “MAGA loves the Blacks.” That is just one of the many times he has excluded us from his pool of supporters. Vice President Mike Pence took the debate stage and denied that there is systematic racism. How could anyone, specifically Black person support such denial is puzzling, to say the least.
But here is a bright light to look forward to-a little over a month from now, we won’t have to worry about any of this. Instead, we can focus on healing and starting a new chapter with our new president.