A selection of the best anti-Trump protest songs to listen to, should he get hold of the nuclear codes tomorrow
Last week, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Chance The Rapper and Big Sean performed at a get-out-and-vote event for Hillary Clinton, while Green Day switched the lyrics of ‘American Idiot’ to ‘Trump America’. Tyler The Creator and the White Stripes sold anti-Donald clobber at their gigs. Madonna, Kanye and Courtney Love are Hillary fans too. Basically, Clinton’s received support from so many acts, Trump would probably claim she’s rigged the music industry.
By contrast, the likes of Adele, Queen and the Rolling Stones all told Trump to get his his “pussy”-grabbing mitts off their tracks when he attempted to use them at his rallies. The perverse upshot of having a walking Trigger Warning as a contender for President of the United States is that it’s inspired a surfeit of protest tracks. With thankfully just hours to go until it’s all (comb) over, here are some of the most notable.
Death Cab For Cutie
Million Dollar Loan
Like an advent calendar of misery, the 30 Days, 30 Songs project is counting down to the election with a different anti-Trump anthem each day, from artists such as REM, EL VY and Moby. First out of the traps were indie stalwarts Death Cab For Cutie, who don’t exactly need an excuse to sound melancholy. Tipping its ‘Make America Great Again’ hat to an anecdote from the first Presidential debate where Donald inspirationally claimed he self-made his fortune with just a “small loan of a million dollars” from his father, it hypnotically rams home the point that he wasn’t born with a just a silver spoon in his mouth, rather the whole damn cutlery drawer.
Anti-Trump Rating: 7. “A million dollar loan/Nobody makes it on their own/Call your father on the phone” – Ben Gibbard throws shade with surgical precision.
I’m With Her
“One, two, three! Who do we want? We want HRC!” So chants Kathleen Hanna and co on this surprise pro-Hillary electro-bop. Known for championing feminism and LGBTQ issues, it’s fitting that Le Tigre’s first new material since 2004’s ‘This Island’ was inspired by America standing on the precipice of electing either their first woman president or a man who has bragged about sexual aggression. With a video that features the trio in tribute pantsuits, it has an infectious beat that would prompt their idol to shimmy.
Anti-Trump rating: 8. As they seethe, “Trump thinks Putin is a very strong leader/Just like him a fascist bottom-feeder”, it’s clear the only person who hates Donald more is his hairdresser.
Flying the flag for UK Trump vitriol are Franz Ferdinand, mocking Trump’s IQ, rhetoric, narcissism – and debatably small hands, yet the off-beat bleepy strut of a tune might cause even Trump to download it from iTunes – then make a Mexican pay for it.
Anti-Trump rating: 9. “It feels so good to be dumb,” coos Kapranos. “From the Wall/Straight to La Cuenta, those pussy-grabbing fingers won’t let go of me now.”
Grab Em By Da Pussy
With Trump proving so unpopular with musicians, he put together his own group, The Freedom Girls, instead – three pre-teens decked out in stars’n’stripes singing ‘The Official Donald Trump Jam’. Kanye West producer Mike Dean starts by sampling their toothsome trilling, then Trump’s vile “locker room” talk, accompanied by a house beat that comes on sleazier than The Donald at a father-daugher dance.
Anti-Trump Rating: 8. Not to be confused with will.i.am ft Al.de.ap and Liane V’s GRAB’m by the PU$$Y for Funny or Die which is so awful, Hillary should add Black Eyed Peas to her “basket of deplorables”.
Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Eat World previously took Bush to task on 2004’s ‘Futures’. Here, they warn of the “dangerous and very real consequences of using fear of ‘The Other’ to motivate a potential electorate” over a righteous emo-racket.
Anti-Tump rating: 6. Jimmy Eat World take the moral high ground: “Think enemies surround you/Everyone, except yourself”. In the climate of this election, it comes across as a bit like bringing a Simon Schama book to a knifefight.
DJ Shadow feat. Run The Jewels
Donald Trump frequently used to crop up in rap tracks in flattering terms – as a byword for wealth and success. Not anymore. Killer Mike is one of the most potent political voices in rap, so it was only a matter of time before the real life Scrooge McDuck got a musical hazing from Run The Jewels.
Anti-Trump rating: 10. It’s a throwaway reference but a sucker-punch nonetheless. “Flame your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest.” See also ‘Talk To Me’ – a taster from upcoming album ‘RTJ3’– which kicks off with: ‘Went to war with the devil and Satan/He wore a bad toupee and a spray tan.”
Eminem – once no stranger to accusations of sexism and homophobia himself – takes aim at Trump in a eight minute tune-free freestyle. Trump supporter David Duke, former grand wizard of the KKK, got his white sheet in a twist over it, tweeting: “For years, Eminem has been poisoning the minds of our youth”. Interestingly, in 2004, Donald endorsed Eminem for President at a mock-convention. Who’ll be the next person Trump’s worked with to release a diss track? Grimace from his McDonald’s advert?
Anti-Trump rating: 7. “Run the faucet, I’ma dunk / A bunch of Trump supporters underwater / Snuck up on ’em in Ray Bans in a grey van with a spray tan / It’s a wrap, like an Ace bandage.” Later, he spits: “Consider me a dangerous man / But you should be afraid of this dang candidate / You say Trump don’t kiss ass like a puppet? / ‘Cause he runs his campaign with his own cash for the funding? / And that’s what you wanted? / A fuckin’ loose cannon who’s blunt with his hand on the button / Who doesn’t have to answer to no one? / Great idea!”
YG and Nipsey Hussle
‘FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)’
As subtle as the title suggests, West Coast rhyme-slingers YG and Nipsey put a target on Trump’s “racist ass”, calling him a “cancer”, declaring “I like white people but I don’t like you”, and admitting, “He got me appreciating Obama way more.”
Anti-Trump rating: 10. So angry that YG alleges that the Secret Service contacted Def Jam to view the content of his album.
Swet Shop Boys
MC/actor Riz Ahmed’s collaboration with former Das Racist member Heems begins with a news report about Trump’s call for Muslims to undergo a US loyalty test, then launches an attack against racial profiling.
Anti-Trump Rating: 8. Contains the winning line from Riz – currently riding high in crime thriller The Night Of – “Trump wants my exit, but if you push the red button to watch Netflix, bruv I’m on.”
Rocky Mountain Mike
‘Mr Tangerine Man’
You’ve guessed it: it’s a rewrite of Bob Dylan’s lysergic ‘Mr Tamborine Man’ reflecting Trump’s very orange face. “Hey Mr Tangerine Man/Keep Muslims away from me/ With my jingoistic worldview, I’ll come following you.”
Anti-Trump Rating: 6. Its snark is worse than its bite. But hey, we’re all going to need a laugh when we’re sat in the bunker when Trump releases the nukes following a Twitter war with Cher.