The musical Hamilton goes hard. But the Donald Trump Mixtape goes harder. My review:
1. He spits bars. Trump doesn’t give speeches; he freestyles. The Washington Post wrote, “Donald Trump says a lot of things twice.” But he’s not repeating himself. That’s just the hook.
He invents whole new parts of speech: the past-tense clueless (“When did we beat Japan at anything?”); the counterfactual infinitive (“I do great with the blacks”); the future-tense pixie-dust subjunctive (“Mexico will pay for it”); and my personal favorite: the present-tense Freudian participle (“I love the poorly educated”).
Trump’s tweets frequently have a “tripartite flow,” notes one Chaucer scholar, arranged in “a rhythmic series.” They are near haikus.
When Trump said, “I know words. I have the best words,” it had all the signature unintelligence of a trap song.
3. He’s a skilled vocal percussionist. Trump’s use of onomatopoeia makes him the greatest beatboxer in political history: “Boom,” “Bing, Bing, Bing,” “Bum, Bum, Bum.” See: “Donald Trump’s sound effects.” Give Trump some 808s and he might drop the illest album of summer ’16. Maybe we can get Mustard on that beat.
4. He’s not a businessman. He’s a business, man. Trump’s brands are a rapper’s brands. Like Yeezy and Wayne, he has his own clothing line. Like Hov and OVO, he has his own cologne. (Coming this fall from the Donald J. Trump collection: Thin-Skinned: for Men.) Like Diddy, he’s got a line of timepieces, yet tackier than anything Flava Flav ever wore. And Like Snoop and Fitty, Trump has his own vodka: fittingly, a spirit with no taste, no substance and no color—just like his campaign.
5. Ball out. Trump once wanted so much marble on his plane, the pilot said he couldn’t do it because it would make the plane too heavy to fly. Mar-a-Lago looks cut from an episode of Cribs. Soon the Donald will start coming out to Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything” at his rallies.
He said he wants to “put some showbiz” in the Republican National Convention this year. This might be the most gold-plated, blinged-out, Trump-vodka-showered, scantily clad, model-having convention in history. If we’re lucky, he’ll have the RNC looking like the Source Awards.
6. Flexing on these … Trump knows it ain’t tricking if you got it. And he ain’t got it. That’s why he won’t show us his taxes. That much flossing, he must be flexing. Listen closely, you can hear Trump getting in touch with his inner Aubrey, whispering softly in your ear:
I swear music and politics are so synonymous
’cause we wanna be them and they wanna be us.
And just like Drake, the Donald wants to be a rapper so bad.
Like artists flashing ice and Lamborghinis that aren’t theirs, Trump doesn’t own many of the buildings with his name on them. The quadri-bankrupt Trump was once found to not even be a billionaire. Yet Trump knows that when your neck and wrist glow, she already should know, so …
7. He has ’em In different area codes. Trump loved to brag about his P-I-M-P status in Howard Stern interviews: He does two bads at the same damn time. But like Snoop, he wants you to know he don’t love them …
FDR put in a pool. Obama, a basketball court. You know President Make-It-Rain is going to install the first White House stripper pole. He’ll call it Pole Force One. And because Trick love the kids, there will be the first Playboy Bunny Easter Egg Roll, too.
That’s to be expected from the man who turned a presidential debate into a literal junk-measuring contest, as part of the Donald J. Trump Mixtape: “My President Is Black, My Little Pill Is Blue.”
8. #ThugLife. Trump told one protester that he wanted to “punch him in the face” and another that he wanted to send him out on a stretcher, and promised to “bomb the s—t” out of ISIS. Then there are his ties to the mob. Which makes Trump the OG of 2016.
Whenever reporters question the Donald, he tells them, like Birdman, to put some respeck on his name. When someone tried to kill him at a rally, you could see the thought bubble over Trump’s head saying, “Many men have wished death on me. ”
9. Always beefing. Trump’s trigger fingers quickly turn to Twitter fingers. He has invented a new art form: the political diss track. Trump is trolling us all. He’s the biggest troll on Twitter. And there’s nothing more hip-hop than that.
10. Like Kanye, his ego is his imaginary friend. Trump wants us to watch the throne. When a reporter asked him if he studies before debates, I expected him to go full Iverson and clap back: Practice?!! Y’all talking ’bout practice?!!
Trump’s arrogance combines all the ball hogging of Kobe, the trash-talking of Mayweather and the incoherence of 2 Chainz.
If his mixtape had a name, Trump could borrow from actual rap albums. What better way to describe Trump’s campaign than Fear of a Black Planet? Or Get Rich or Die Tryin’? And yet, contemplating an actual Trump presidency has me thinking of a different album title: It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot.
Trump isn’t actually running for president. He’s just racing Macklemore to see who will gentrify the Grammys’ Hip-Hop Album of the Year category this year.
Trump has the same relationship to hip-hop as blackface has to actual black life. His offenses are worse than the accumulated crimes of even Iggy, because Trump is to the rapper persona as:
- Tommy Hilfiger is to hip-hop fashion;
- the CEO of Cristal is to hip-hop bubbly;
- Donald Sterling is to the NBA.
They make lots of money off the hip-hop aesthetic and yet don’t really like the people using their products.
Like Kanye told Sway: It’s systems to this, B.
Charles Badger is a political strategist and freelance writer. He was coalitions director for Gov. Jeb Bush’s 2016 campaign.