Updated Thursday, Oct. 27, 4:17 p.m. EDT: A video for the remix, produced by R. Ray Barnes and Tony Coleman, has now been released on the Hidden Beach YouTube channel.
Watch it below:
Stevie Wonder—the man, the myth, the legend—is responsible for the election anthem of 2016, and he doesn’t even know it yet.
The audio to a remix of Wonder’s 1974 hit “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” has been leaked. This time, however, instead of calling out former President Richard Nixon for his racism and corruption, the funk classic squarely takes aim at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Click play: “You Haven’t Done Nothin’ (Election 2016 Mix)”:
The recording wizardry that made this happen is unclear, so there’s no way to know if Wonder is even aware that his politically charged song has taken on new life. Background vocals and quotes from first lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama and Trump are layered over the track, but Wonder’s lyrics remain untouched.
That Wonder’s words stand the test of time so exactly shows that the more things change, the more things stay the same.
Nixon is not known only for the Watergate scandal; his Southern strategy laid the groundwork for the Republican Party as it stands today. He is also the original architect of the war on drugs, which has, of course, gone on to decimate large swaths of black and Latinx communities exactly as intended—with both Democrats and Republicans in leadership.
According to former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman, “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people.”
That being said, it would not be far-fetched at all if Wonder considered Trump to be Nixon’s political descendant. Trump’s relationship—or, rather, lack thereof—with “the blacks” has been noted throughout the 2016 election cycle.
As previously reported by The Root, Trump is the “law and order” candidate who believes a national stop-and-frisk policy would be wonderful; has incited violence against black people at rallies around the country; called the Black Lives Matter movement a “threat” that needed to be investigated; called for the innocent Central Park Five to be executed in 1989; and has denied undeniable allegations of housing discrimination against blacks and Latinos in New York City.
Despite this, the reality star says he believes, “At the end of four years, I guarantee you I will get over 95 percent of the African-American vote. I promise you.” How on earth is that possible, anyone with common sense might ask?
Well, Trump is convinced that black voters will be so disillusioned with the Democratic Party that they will vote for him Nov. 8. Black voters will then apparently be so pleased with what Trump manages to accomplish that they will put him back into the White House for a second term.
“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed; what the hell do you have to lose,” Trump rhetorically asked a crowd in Charlotte, N.C., in August.
As a background singer in the “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” remix answers, a resounding, “Everything.”
Trump’s above quotes are looped throughout the song. And President Obama’s statement about Trump during his commencement speech at Rutgers University is used effectively as a counter: “Ignorance is not a virtue.”
Despite Hillary Clinton’s precarious relationship with segments of the black community, Wonder has not been silent about his support for the Democratic presidential nominee. While speaking in Minneapolis earlier this month, Wonder said, “I’ll just make it very real; I think that men have messed it up long enough. So I’m going to vote for a woman this time.”
In June he surprised the crowd at the Hillary Clinton: She’s With Us concert in Los Angeles by singing “Superstition” with John Legend. The musical genius did not mince words, telling the audience, “Tonight is a celebration of when Hillary Clinton becomes the next president.”
Wonder also performed at a birthday celebration-fundraiser for Clinton Monday night in New York City.
— Doug Mills (@dougmillsnyt) October 25, 2016
At the time this article was published, Wonder was not available to comment on the song, so we don’t know how he will react to being thrust front and center into the waning weeks before Election Day.
In the meantime, in between time, click play below to check out “You Haven’t Done Nothin’ (Election 2016 Mix)”: