Throughout this recent presidential campaign, many politicians have received responses from the music industry, but none have gotten nearly as many as Donald Trump. With his anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim rhetoric, and his affiliations with White nationalist organizations, Trump has received an enormous amount of ire from the musical community. Many artists, who generally refrain from getting involved in politics, were drawn to criticize Trump for his blatantly horrible statements. From every genre, artists have made clear their distaste and outright hatred for Donald Trump and his divisive, dangerous messages, as well as his despicable character. From his cartoonish egomania to his ludicrous policies, Donald Trump gave artists a huge number of targets to aim for with their art and words. Heres a handful of amazing songs and musical moments that would make you almost want to thank Trump, if he wasn't attempting to bring the US under his racist, despotic rule.
YG Releases "FDT (F*ck Donald Trump)" 1 & 2
Donald Trump's racist rhetoric about Mexican Americans and his followers negative reactions toward Black Americans inspired California rapper YG, in one of the first reactions from the musical community, to release the song "FDT (F*ck Donald Trump)" with frequent collaborator and fellow LA gangster rapper Nipsey Hussle. In March of 2016, the usually apolitical YG was inspired by conversations with Nipsey to record the record that comes at Donald for his racist incitement, spreading of misinformation, and reality show demeanor. Being from California, both artists grew up with Chicano neighbors and strike back at Trump's portrayal of Mexican Americans as violent criminals. They also speak on unity, both between Bloods and Crips, as well as Blacks and Mexicans, in order to face the greater threat of White Supremacy. The song also includes Nipsey Hussle's iconic line "Look, Reagan sold coke, Obama sold hope / Donald Trump spent his trust fund money on the vote."
The track caused the Secret Service to investigate the lyrics on YG's then unreleased album Still Brazy,
and convinced him to edit out certain lyrics from "FDT" including a line in which he mentions Mexican drug lord El Chapo killing Trump. He was also pressured to remove a line from another song from his album "Blacks and Browns" in which San Diego based Mexican-American rapper Sadboy states that Trump should come to his hood and meet his gun for his disrespectful comments. YG's song may have been violent in parts, but it spoke on unity in the face of evil, and gave an anthem to those demonized by Donald Trump and Republicans.
Not content with just the one anti-Trump song, in July YG came back with a remix to the song featuring two White rappers: G-Eazy and Macklemore. In this rendition of the song, both guests insult Donald Trump, and YG clarifies that his movement against Trump is one of racial inclusion.
Mac Miller Goes Off on Donald Trump
With the rise of Donald Trump as a potential presidential nominee, Mac Miller began to receive questions due to his 2011 hit single "Donald Trump," using Trump to refer to his own aspirations for wealth. Shortly after the single, the rapper famously clashed with Trump after he attempted to sue Mac for using his name in a song. In March 2016, when it became almost certain that Trump would become the Republican presidential nominee, and when people began treating him less like a joke and recognizing the menace that he is, Mac was invited on the Larry Wilmore show, where he launched into a tirade against Donald Trump, accusing him of being the megalomaniac, racist that he is. Within the speech he makes statements about Donald's need for media attention and his appeal to the basest elements of our society, ending it off with calling Trump a bitch before a classic mic drop.
Third Eye Blind Trolls the RNC
In May 2016, apparently without knowing their political affiliation, Third Eye Blind was booked by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to play a charity gig associated with the Donald Trump victory party at the Republican National Convention. Hundreds of RNC attendees and Donald Trump supporters attended the event, only to have the band refuse to play any of their hits and to have band frontman Stephan Jenkins mock the GOP and their candidate for their refusal to recognize climate change and their anti-gay rights agenda. The one hit they elected to play was "Jumper," but not before explaining the backstory to the song, which is about Jenkin's gay friend who committed suicide, and imploring the audience to appreciate the message of tolerance in the song. This lead to an outpouring of disappointment and anger, both at the event and online, to which the band replied to, doubling down on their decision. They may have pissed off their audience, but they stuck to their principles. Jenkins also penned an article in the Huffington Post defending their decision
Reggae singer Perfect Giddimani may not be American, but that didn't stop him from knowing enough about American politics to see how horrible Trump is. In mid-May the "Hand Cart Bwoy" singer released a song about Donald Trump called "Dollnald Trummp" in March. Perfect talks about Trumps hatred from Muslims and Mexicans and calls him out for his big ego all over a sunny reggae beat. It may be a protest song, but it also feels very at home at a beach party. The song now comes with an animated video that pokes more fun at Donald for his ridiculous policies and overblown image of himself.
Viva Presidente Trump!
Though many artists wrote songs against Donald Trump, none were able to match the raw aggression of Mexican-American grindcore band Brujeria's "Viva Presidente Trump!" In the song, the Metal artists mock Donald Trump, and take him to task for his statements about Mexico and Mexicans. They also make clear that his petty and retaliatory demeanor is incredibly dangerous in a leader of a nation, and that they believe his presidency would lead to war and conflict. The screaming vocals are a damning criticism of Trump in Spanish.
The White Stripes may be over as a project, but that didn't prevent the band from taking shots at Donald Trump. Though the band has been officially disbanded since 2011, they came together for a moment this October when they caught wind of a pro-Trump video featuring their song "Seven Nation Army." The band immediately released a statement denying any connection to the video and denouncing Trump on their Facebook. Shortly after they released "Icky Trump" shirts as merch on their label's website. The merch is a pun on the song "Icky Thump" from their last studio album which bears the same name. The shirt features lyrics from the song that decry White nativism and those who buy into it. Even their own personal disputes didn't prevent Meg and Jack from coming together to denounce Trump.
30 Days 30 Songs
In this final stretch before election day, Artists For A Trump Free America, an organization started by writer Dave Eggers, is releasing an anti-Trump song a day from the 9th of October on. So far there have been some recycled songs, from Josh Ritter, Jim James and REM, that have particular resonance when discussing Trump, but also great new songs taking direct aim at Trump. This includes "Million Dollar Loan" from Death Cab For Cutie which takes aim at Donald Trump's claims to be self made, despite the large sums of money given to him by his millionaire father. Aimee Mann also wrote a song for the organization, entitled "Can't You Tell" which is written from Donald Trump's perspective to display the pitiful, insecure man he is. More songs are promised to come, including offerings from proudly Muslim NY rapper Vinnie Paz, rock supergroup Filthy Friends and musical comedian Reggie Watts. Check their constantly updating playlists for more quality anti-Trump music.