Donald Trump’s fall from hip-hop grace: From rap icon to public enemy No. 1

But only a few years ago -- as recently as 2015 -- hip-hop's storied relationship with the celebrity business mogul-turned president told a very different tale.

"He was an American icon that stood for success and wealth, and that was something that was valued, particularly among a community of folks that were coming from lower class backgrounds and people who were locked out of the mainstream American economy," Bakari Kitwana, the Executive Director of Rap Sessions, told ABC News.

And in more than 60 tweets about hip-hop, Trump either wrote about songs he was mentioned in or artists who praised or criticized him.

"Oh no, another rapper doing a Trump song --"Young Jeezy - Trump Lyrics." Why aren't these guys paying me?" Trump tweeted in 2012.

Oh no, another rapper doing a Trump song --"Young Jeezy - Trump Lyrics." Why aren't these guys paying me?

WOW! I just heard that the previously unknown singer Mac Miller has received over 67 million hits on his song "Donald Trump."

From modern day stars like Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj, to old-school legends such as Ice Cube, Raekwon, Master P., Busta Rhymes and Mos Def, Trump and his brand were name-dropped by top artists in hip-hop for nearly 30 years and several mentioned him more than once.

Trump noted Diddy's admiration for him by sharing an article about it in October 2015.

But Kitwana, a culture critic who wrote the book, "Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop," cautions that Trump's relationship with hip-hop was always about Trump.

References to him were "more of a nod to the aspirational culture in hip-hop," Kitwana said, not an indication that the business mogul, who spread birther theories about Barack Obama, launched a crusade against the Central Park Five and mocked the “Black Lives Matter” movement, was a friend to the hip-hip community.

"I wouldn't say that Trump was a part of the hip-hop community," Kitwana told ABC News. "I would say that he got shout-outs. Even Jay Z talked about being at Trump Tower, but that's just like anyone getting shout-outs in hip-hop."

Having a big ego has also been central to many rappers' identities and the subject of many rap songs -- and many rappers referenced Trump to boast about themselves.

Examples of lyrics that mirror this notion are so copious, but here are a few examples of songs that tie the notion of having an ego directly to Trump:

In "How to Get Rich," Trump writes that brushing the dirt off your own shoulder -- which he refers to as tooting your own horn -- is key to success: "So don't be afraid to toot your own horn when you've done something worth tooting about."

And for years, hip-hop celebrated Trump's "winning."

Hip-hop lyrics are filled with success stories from many artists who come from humble backgrounds and the name "Trump" -- which also happens to rhyme with a lot, Kitwana noted -- was the perfect reference for many rappers to bring the point home.

 

October 11, 2018

Sources: ABC News

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All market data delayed 20 minutes. </p><p>Hillary Clinton's top security clearance is withdrawn in wake of email investigation.</p><p>In a combative exchange at a hearing&#xA0;Friday in Washington, D.C., a&#xA0;federal judge unabashedly accused career State Department officials of lying and signing &quot;clearly false&quot; affidavits to derail a series of lawsuits seeking information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton&apos;s private email server and her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.</p><p>&quot;I had myself found that Cheryl Mills had committed perjury and lied under oath in a published opinion I had issued in a Judicial Watch case where I found her unworthy of belief, and I was quite shocked to find out she had been given immunity in &#x2014; by the Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton email case,&quot; Lamberth said during Friday&apos;s hearing.</p><p>The DOJ IG, Michael Horowitz, noted in his report that it was &quot;inconsistent with typical investigative strategy&quot; for the FBI to allow Mills to sit in during the agency&apos;s interview of Clinton during the email probe, given that classified information traveled through&#xA0;Mills&apos; personal email account. &quot;[T]here are serious potential ramifications when one witness attends another witness&#x2019;interview,&quot; the IG wrote.</p><p>On Friday, Lamberth,&#xA0;who was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan, said he&#xA0;did not know Mills had been granted immunity until he &quot;read the IG report and learned that and that she had accompanied [Clinton] to her interview.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I was actually dumbfounded when I found out ... that Cheryl Mills had been given immunity.&quot;</p><p>The transparency group Judicial Watch initially sued the State Department in 2014, seeking information about the response to the Benghazi attack after its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was denied. Other parallel efforts by the group are probing issues like Clinton&apos;s server, which was revealed&#xA0;during the course of the litigation.</p><p>The State Department had moved to dismiss Judicial Watch&apos;s first lawsuit on a motion for summary judgment, saying in an affidavit that it had conducted a search of all potentially relevant emails in its possession, even though some more documents and emails could be forthcoming.</p><p>But Lamberth denied the request to dismiss the lawsuit -- and on Friday, he said he was happy he did, charging that State Department officials had intentionally misled him.</p><p>&quot;It&#xA0;was clear to me that at the time that I ruled initially, that false statements were made to me by career State Department officials, and it became more clear through discovery that the information that I was provided was clearly false regarding the adequacy of the search and this &#x2013; what we now know turned out to be the Secretary&#x2019;s email system,&quot; Lamberth said Friday.</p><p>He continued:&#xA0; &quot;I don&#x2019;t know the details of what kind of IG inquiry there was into why these career officials at the State Department would have filed false affidavits with me. I don&#x2019;t know the details of why the Justice Department lawyers did not know false affidavits were being filed with me, but I was very relieved that I did not accept them and that I allowed limited discovery into what had happened.&quot;</p><p>During a tense exchange with Justice Department lawyer Robert Prince, Lamberth pressed the issue, accusing Prince of using &quot;doublespeak&quot; and &quot;playing the same word games [Clinton] played.&quot;</p><p>That &quot;was not true,&quot; Lamberth said, referring to the State Department&apos;s assurances that it had searched all relevant documents. &quot;It was a lie.&quot;</p><p>But Prince pushed back sharply, saying he took the judge&apos;s accusations &quot;extremely seriously.&quot;</p><p>&quot;It might be that our search could be found to be inadequate, but that declaration was absolutely true,&quot; he said.</p><p>&quot;Now, it&apos;s been made clear in rulings by various courts that, basically, the courts are going to expect us to search items that come in afterward in this instance, and that&apos;s understandable, but at the time, that was not at all clear, you know?&quot; Prince&#xA0; continued. &quot;I understand if Your Honor thinks that the searches that were done up to the motion for summary judgment were inadequate, but being wrong about the search being adequate does not make it a false affidavit.&quot;</p><p>Lamberth ultimately conceded that he had &quot;misremembered&quot; some details on the issue.</p><p>In a statement,&#xA0;Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who was present at the hearing, pushed the White House for answers.</p><p>&#x201C;President Trump should ask why his State Department is still refusing to answer basic questions about the Clinton email scandal,&#x201D; Fitton said. &#x201C;Hillary Clinton&#x2019;s and the State Department&#x2019;s email cover up abused the FOIA, the courts, and the American people&#x2019;s right to know.&#x201D;</p><p>&#x201C;Take the Benghazi tragedy&#x2014;you know, I have one of the top Republicans, Kevin McCarthy, admitting we&#x2019;re going to take that tragedy&#x2014;because, you know, we&#x2019;ve lost people, unfortunately, going back to the Reagan administration, if you talk about recent times, in diplomatic attacks,&#x201D; Clinton said on NBC&#x2019;s &#x201C;Today&quot; in an interview last year. &#x201C;But boy, it was turned into a political football. And it was aimed at undermining my credibility, my record, my accomplishments.&#x201D;</p><p>The Accountability Review Board that examined the tragedy concluded there were &#x201C;Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels&#x201D; at the department that &#x201C;resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.&#x201D;</p><p>But Collins has downplayed any potential challenge from Rice.</p><p>&quot;As far as Susan Rice is concerned, her family has a home in Maine, but she doesn&#x2019;t live in the state of Maine,&quot; Collins said earlier this month.&#xA0;&quot;Everybody knows that.&quot;</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>

    1 October 18, 2018
  • Kavanaugh chaos hangs over Feinstein’s all-Democrat Senate race

    Kavanaugh chaos hangs over Feinstein’s all-Democrat Senate race

    ritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes. </p><p>Judge Kavanaugh speaks out about his desire to clear his name immediately following allegations while being questioned by Senator Dianne Feinstein.</p><p>For many Republicans nationally, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., became public enemy No. 1 for her leading role in the Democrats&#x2019; failed bid to keep Justice Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court. Supporters at a recent President Trump rally even made her the new target of the familiar &#x201C;lock her up&#x201D; chant. </p><p>Meanwhile, her progressive challenger in California&#x2019;s all-Democrat Senate race, state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, faults her for doing too little to stop the confirmation.</p><p>The chorus of criticism from both sides shows how the aftermath of the Kavanaugh fight is weighing uniquely on the senior Democrat&#x2019;s political race back home. While most Democrats who opposed Kavanaugh were cheered by the base, Feinstein ended up with a lose-lose scenario &#x2013; condemned by the right for airing the sexual-assault allegations and by the left for not doing so sooner. </p><p>She faces a Democrat next month because California&#x2019;s &#x201C;jungle primary&#x201D; advances the top two vote-getters to the general election regardless of party &#x2013; in this case, both Democrats. Despite the Kavanaugh fallout, Feinstein has retained a comfortable lead in the polls. </p><p>The incumbent and her challenger are set to face off at a debate Wednesday.</p><p>Ironically, some observers say, California conservatives may end up backing Feinstein for another term, when considering the alternative.</p><p>&#x201C;If Republicans do anything in this election, they&#x2019;ll try to keep Feinstein,&#x201D; Dawn Wildman, founder of the California Tea Party Groups Coalition and the president of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition. &#x201C;The last thing they want is de Leon in Washington. It&#x2019;s a strategic vote to limit socialism.&#x201D;</p><p>Wildman, who does a weekly conference call with conservative and Republican activists across the state, said, &#x201C;after Kavanaugh, a shift happened, and a lot of conservatives were upset with Feinstein and the last-minute shenanigans that she pulled.&#x201D; But, Wildman said, that anger has subsided after Kavanaugh&#x2019;s confirmation. Further, many conservatives think that, at 85, Feinstein may not serve out her term, but de Leon, 51, would likely be in the U.S. Senate for some time to come, Wildman said. </p><p>Her troubles mounted with the Kavanaugh drama &#x2013; a Washington spectacle quietly set in motion over the summer. </p><p>In a late July letter to Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of trying to rape her 36 years ago when both were teenagers. The letter was sprung on the public in September after the hearings seemingly concluded, prompting the committee to hold another day of testimony to hear Ford&#x2019;s allegation&#xA0;and Kavanaugh&#x2019;s denial. After a late FBI investigation into the accusation found no corroboration, the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh.</p><p>Feinstein maintained all along she didn&#x2019;t push the allegations earlier out of concern for Ford&#x2019;s privacy, but her hand was forced by media reports and leaks. Her critics were unforgiving. </p><p>Feinstein&#x2019;s campaign could not be reached for comment for this report, while de Leon&#x2019;s campaign referred to a previous comment. After Kavanaugh&#x2019;s confirmation, the challenger took a jab of Feinstein&#x2019;s perceived collegiality.</p><p>Ray Haynes, a former Republican member of the California Senate and former chairman of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, said Feinstein was actually trying to strengthen her position in the state. </p><p>&#x201C;The move by Feinstein was a move to solidify her support from Democrats because de Leon has been telling Democrats &#x2018;we need a fighter,&#x201D; Haynes said. </p><p>Haynes also speculated that conservatives will probably just skip this year&#x2019;s Senate race. </p><p>Bill Press, former chairman of the California Democratic party in the 1990s, maintained that Feinstein &#x2013; who has been a popular politician across party lines in California &#x2013; will be safe. </p><p>&#x201C;As far as Democrats are concerned, Kavanaugh is on the court and they&#x2019;re not going to blame Dianne Feinstein,&#x201D; Press, now a liberal talk radio host, told Fox News. &#x201C;To say she didn&#x2019;t try hard enough because if she released the letter earlier it would have had more impact is similar to the argument Chuck Grassley and Donald Trump are making. I don&#x2019;t think de Leon wants to be associated with them.&#x201D;</p><p>Nevertheless, incumbency has its perks, and she is still leading. The contest, though, has certainly tightened in recent polls since Feinstein trounced de Leon in the June jungle primary, 44 percent to 12 percent, with rest of the vote divided among more than two-dozen candidates. </p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>

    1 October 17, 2018

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