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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And neither do you or anyone else… </p><p> RADDATZ: Even from – even from what you’ve already read? </p><p> RUBIO: Well, again, I don’t know who to believe because … </p><p> RADDATZ: The Justice Department very clearly says it. </p><p> RUBIO: Right. That’s the Justice Department’s position and I’m not questioning the work they’ve done. They’ve got someone who now is willing to testify to that fact. The president’s saying that that’s not true. Now, we don’t know what other investigations the Justice Department has to either corroborate it or that they don’t have to corroborate it. So, again, that’s why I think it’s important for all the information to be out here. </p><p> I’m not going to sit here and say that absolutely didn’t happen because it’s possible the Justice Department has additional corroborating evidence. It’s also possible they do not. And now you have the testimony of a witness that’s facing criminal charges and looking for leniency versus someone who denies that it occurred the way they said it occurred. So that’s why I’m telling you, it is important for us to have the full context and all the information before us before we can make final judgments on these issues because we just don’t know what additional information the Justice Department has to either corroborate these – these charges or not. </p><p> RADDATZ: OK, let’s move to Paul Manafort. Just last week, Trump refused to take a pardon for Manafort off the table after Rudy Giuliani acknowledged being in touch with Manafort’s lawyers. If the president pardoned Trump (sic), is that a red line for you, would that be obstructionist (ph) … </p><p> RUBIO: I think it would be a terrible mistake if he did that. I do. I believe it’d be a terrible mistake. You know, pardons should be used judiciously. They’re used for cases with extraordinary circumstances. And I just haven’t heard that the White House was thinking about doing it. I know he hasn’t ruled it out but I haven’t heard anyone say, we’re thinking about doing it. </p><p> I would advise strongly against it, it would be a terrible mistake. I would not be supportive of it, I would be critical of it. I don’t believe that any pardon should be used with relation to these particular cases. Frankly, it – not only does it not pass the smell test, I think it undermines the reason why we have presidential pardons in the first place. And I think, in fact, if something like that were to happen, it could trigger a debate about whether the pardon powers should be amended given these circumstances. </p><p> So I hope they don’t do that, it would be a terrible mistake if they did. </p><p> RADDATZ: OK, thanks very much for joining us, Senator Rubio. </p><p> RADDATZ: Up next, how do Democrats plan to respond to the latest filings by the special counsel and federal prosecutors? We’ll talk to one senator who may also be planning 2020 presidential bid, next. </p><p> That was on – that was time, right? Senator Rubio, thanks so much, appreciate it. </p>

    1 December 09, 2018
  •  'This Week' Transcript 12-9-18: Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Chris Murphy

    'This Week' Transcript 12-9-18: Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Chris Murphy

    this week filed, no, there's an inconsistency there. That doesn't necessarily mean that that - you know, people here have a presumption in this country that you have to go out and prove these things. That said, look, I've always wanted there to be the truth. That's what I've said from the very beginning. What we want for this country is all the facts, and all the truth. I've always supported the Mueller investigation and continue to do so because I think it's in the best interest of everyone involved, including by the way, the president on many of these issues. </p><p> So I think it's important for that work to go and continue to move forward, and once the American people have before them all the facts and information, then we begin to make political judgments about this. The same is true of the intelligence probe that we've conducted in the U.S. I'm very proud of the work the Intelligence Committee has done. It has not been partisan. In fact, some of the things we've seen released have caused the committee to go back and attempt to re-interview some people to compare to what we saw, and have been released by the special prosecutor, and we're going to continue to do our work. </p><p> So at some point, here soon, the American people are going to have before them the report of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, whatever findings the special prosecutor has moving forward and then we can begin to make some judgments about what needs to happen next. </p><p> RUBIO: Well, look, again, I just -- people have a right to say that that's what happened, especially when facing criminal charges. That doesn't necessarily make it true. It doesn't make it untrue either. Look, I'm not going to -- and there's not way to spin this. This has not been -- this has not been a positive development for the people that are involved in this, but I just think, and we have learned over time that is is important for all of this to be out there before us, in full context compared to other information before we begin to make political judgments. </p><p> And I will tell, when all that information is out there, no one -- no one is more important than our country, no one is held above the law, everyone should also benefit from the presumptions the law has, but from a separate topic, the political judgment we want to make, that has a different standard to it, and my position on that will be based on evidence and the information before the American people on us,both on the Intelligence Committee and through these filings. And until that happens, I just think it’s important that we not ignore these things, but reserve judgment until we have all of it before us. It may make you feel stronger about how you view it now, but the bottom line is… </p><p> RUBIO: … we deserve the full truth on what’s happened. </p><p> RADDATZ: -- seems to have made up his mind. As you know, he tweeted that these filings show he was totally cleared. Do you believe that? </p><p> RUBIO: Well, that, obviously, is the argument the president will make and those around him. He obviously feels strongly about it. It’s about him. I think the rest of us, especially those of us in the position in Congress that we’re in, will have to make our own determination. We’ll have to make our own determinations on the basis of the information before. Right now we are still getting bits and pieces. </p><p> I would concede we have more bits and pieces than we did a couple weeks ago. But I would – before I’m prepared to make a public pronouncement that I’m ready to make judgment on one thing or another, I’d like to have all of the information before. And I also want us to finish our work on the Senate Intelligence Committee because I think that’ll be a big part of this as well. And that’s why I know the position you guys have and the work you need to do in terms of asking tough questions. But we are called upon to make judgments, especially on the Intelligence Committee, and we need more information before we can finish our report. </p><p> RADDATZ: I just want to talk a little more about the southern district campaign finance violation that they found. The president had this to say when asked about it yesterday, whether or not he gave Michael Cohen any direction. </p><p> QUESTION: Sir, did you direct Michael Cohen to commit any violations of law? </p><p> RADDATZ: So, I know you talk about bits and pieces but this is a pretty big piece. So who do you believe, Senator? The president… </p><p> RUBIO: Oh, I don’t know. And neither do you or anyone else… </p><p> RADDATZ: Even from – even from what you’ve already read? </p><p> RUBIO: Well, again, I don’t know who to believe because … </p><p> RADDATZ: The Justice Department very clearly says it. </p><p> RUBIO: Right. That’s the Justice Department’s position and I’m not questioning the work they’ve done. They’ve got someone who now is willing to testify to that fact. The president’s saying that that’s not true. Now, we don’t know what other investigations the Justice Department has to either corroborate it or that they don’t have to corroborate it. So, again, that’s why I think it’s important for all the information to be out here. </p><p> I’m not going to sit here and say that absolutely didn’t happen because it’s possible the Justice Department has additional corroborating evidence. It’s also possible they do not. And now you have the testimony of a witness that’s facing criminal charges and looking for leniency versus someone who denies that it occurred the way they said it occurred. So that’s why I’m telling you, it is important for us to have the full context and all the information before us before we can make final judgments on these issues because we just don’t know what additional information the Justice Department has to either corroborate these – these charges or not. </p><p> RADDATZ: OK, let’s move to Paul Manafort. Just last week, Trump refused to take a pardon for Manafort off the table after Rudy Giuliani acknowledged being in touch with Manafort’s lawyers. If the president pardoned Trump (sic), is that a red line for you, would that be obstructionist (ph) … </p><p> RUBIO: I think it would be a terrible mistake if he did that. I do. I believe it’d be a terrible mistake. You know, pardons should be used judiciously. They’re used for cases with extraordinary circumstances. And I just haven’t heard that the White House was thinking about doing it. I know he hasn’t ruled it out but I haven’t heard anyone say, we’re thinking about doing it. </p><p> I would advise strongly against it, it would be a terrible mistake. I would not be supportive of it, I would be critical of it. I don’t believe that any pardon should be used with relation to these particular cases. Frankly, it – not only does it not pass the smell test, I think it undermines the reason why we have presidential pardons in the first place. And I think, in fact, if something like that were to happen, it could trigger a debate about whether the pardon powers should be amended given these circumstances. </p><p> So I hope they don’t do that, it would be a terrible mistake if they did. </p><p> RADDATZ: OK, thanks very much for joining us, Senator Rubio. </p><p> RADDATZ: Up next, how do Democrats plan to respond to the latest filings by the special counsel and federal prosecutors? We’ll talk to one senator who may also be planning 2020 presidential bid, next. </p><p> That was on – that was time, right? Senator Rubio, thanks so much, appreciate it. </p>

    1 December 09, 2018

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