Barack Obama has suggested that Donald Trump‘s increase in votes from Black male voters in the 2020 US election could in part be attributed to “the bling, the women, the money” in rap music.
During an extensive interview with The Atlantic, the former president suggested that comparisons can be made between the way in which Trump values success and the opulent displays of wealth often portrayed in the genre’s music videos.
“It’s interesting: people are writing about the fact that Trump increased his support among Black men [in the election], and the occasional rapper who supported Trump,” said Obama.
“I have to remind myself that if you listen to rap music, it’s all about the bling, the women, the money. A lot of rap videos are using the same measures of what it means to be successful as Donald Trump is. Everything is gold-plated. That insinuates itself and seeps into the culture.”
An exit poll from NBC suggests that Joe Biden received 80% of the support of Black men, whereas Hillary Clinton got 82% of their vote in 2016. In contrast, Obama secured 95% and 87% respectively in 2008 and 2012.
Obama added: “America has always had a caste system — rich and poor, not just racially but economically — but it wasn’t in your face most of the time when I was growing up.
“Then you start seeing Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, that sense that either you’ve got it or you’re a loser. And Donald Trump epitomises that cultural movement that is deeply ingrained now in American culture.”
But Obama’s comments immediately sparked debate on social media, with some likening him to a “Get Off My Lawn Old Man”.
Another wrote: “People pointing out to Obama that contemporary rap music’s different… Guy’s like 60. His newest notion of music is decades and decades old. He does not understand what you’re saying.”
Coming in hot on the list of dumbass things I didn’t expect but, you know, fuck 2020: Barack Obama going full Get Off My Lawn old man about… rap music. https://t.co/HKuZ8Q17WZ
— y’all still want a cop in the White House? (@shandy_d) November 16, 2020
I guarantee if you took a poll of the black men who voted for Trump, the single most common phrase would be “Obama didn’t do anything for Black ppl” you may disagree with that assessment but to say it’s bc of rap music…🙃 https://t.co/0drqgkZzfI
— 57% of union households voted Biden (@LonWishom) November 16, 2020
Another said: “I guarantee if you took a poll of the black men who voted for Trump, the single most common phrase would be “Obama didn’t do anything for Black ppl” you may disagree with that assessment but to say it’s bc of rap music..”
At the time of writing, President Trump is still yet to officially concede defeat to President-elect Joe Biden after his triumph in the election.
On Trump’s refusal to concede, Obama added: “For all the differences between myself and George W. Bush, he and his administration could not have been more gracious and intentional about ensuring a smooth handoff.
“One of the really distressing things about the current situation is the amount of time that is being lost because of Donald Trump’s petulance and the unwillingness of other Republicans to call him on it.”