Prior to the 2020 presidential election, rap fans witnessed a handful of rappers and producers express their support of Donald Trump. From Hots Boyz’s Turk claiming that the Trump administration did more for Black people than the Obama administration did, to Lil Jay — the producer of Crime Mob’s “Knuck If You Buck” — supporting Trump on Twitter (as well as Instagram), the endorsements led to the artists facing backlash, and although some have since retracted any support they expressed toward Trump (looking at you, 50 Cent), some of them still seem to support him.
In a recent interview with the Atlantic, Barack Obama spoke on not only addressed the rappers who supported Trump but the increase he received in Black male voters for this year’s election (he picked up 20 percent of the Black male vote, an increase of two percent from 2016), too.
“It’s interesting—people are writing about the fact that Trump increased his support among Black men [in the 2020 presidential election], and the occasional rapper who supported Trump. I have to remind myself that if you listen to rap music, it’s all about the bling, the women, the money,” Obama said. “A lot of rap videos are using the same measures of what it means to be successful as Donald Trump is. Everything is gold-plated. That insinuates itself and seeps into the culture.”
“Michelle and I were talking about the fact that although we grew up in very different places, we were both very much working-class, lower-middle-class, in terms of income, and we weren’t subject day-to-day to the sense that if you don’t have this stuff then you are somehow not worthy,” he continued. “America has always had a caste system—rich and poor, not just racially but economically—but it wasn’t in your face most of the time when I was growing up. Then you start seeing Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, that sense that either you’ve got it or you’re a loser. And Donald Trump epitomizes that cultural movement that is deeply ingrained now in American culture.”
The interview was published ahead of the release of Obama’s memoir, A Promised Land, which comes out tomorrow (November 17).
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