Donald Trump in music refers to songs, albums and bands that refer to Donald Trump and his various brands, including Trump Tower, his TV show, his hotel chain, and his casinos. Though recent songs refer to Trump's campaign and subsequent election as president of the United States, more than 200 songs refer to Trump prior to his successful presidential campaign between 1989 and 2013. With his victory in the 2016 presidential election, Trump's prominence in hip-hop music has been likened to that of Ronald Reagan's in hardcore punk during the 1980s.
Trump's name first appeared in hip hop lyrics during the 1980s when the business mogul became an icon of the ultra rich. Among the earliest mentions of Trump in rap lyrics was the Beastie Boys' 1989 track "Johnny Ryall", in which they pit Donald Trump alongside his homeless alter-ego, Donald Tramp.
While many rappers praise Trump's wealth, usually comparing their own financial aspirations or success to that of the billionaire businessman, others have used their music as a platform to criticize Trump's practices and politics. Among the earliest of these was The Coup from Oakland, California, who critiqued and mocked Trump on their first two albums released in the early 1990s.
ESPN's political site FiveThirtyEight documented that between 1989 and 2014, 19% of song lyrics about Trump were negative while 60% were positive. The 2010s marked a shift in hip hop musicians' attitude toward Trump as his presence in the public eye changed from a business tycoon to a politician making controversial statements against people of color, Latin American people, and Muslims. Because of hip hop's close association with these communities and its reinvigorated politicization with the Black Lives Matter movement, lyrical depictions of Trump rapidly grew to be more disparaging throughout his campaign and subsequent election as President of the United States.
Many artists have name-checked Trump in more than one song. Pre-presidency, Rick Ross had the most Trump mentions (nine songs between 2008 and 2015) with Nas running second (seven songs between 1996 and 2012). Other major Trump name-checkers include Migos (six songs between 2013 and 2016), Young Thug (six songs between 2013 and 2015), Lil Wayne (five songs between 2000 and 2012) and Raekwon (five songs between 1995 and 2012).
Mac Miller controversy
The numerous references to Trump in lyrics have not gone unnoticed by the billionaire. When Mac Miller's 2011 song "Donald Trump" became a Billboard hit, Trump released a YouTube video congratulating the rapper:
- A lot of people are calling me about the Mac Miller rap song. Now, it's named "Donald Trump." Maybe you should pay me a lot of money, but it just did over 20 million people, tuning into Mac Miller. So in one way, I'm proud of him. I haven't actually seen the language... Probably, it's not the cleanest language you've ever heard... But the "Donald Trump" song just hit over 20 million, that's not so bad. I'm very proud of him.
As the song garnered more plays, Trump took a more aggressive tone and demanded royalties for using his name, thereby starting a feud with Miller. In early 2013, Trump threatened the rapper via a series of exchanges on Twitter:
- Little @MacMiller, you illegally used my name for your song “Donald Trump” which now has over 75 million hits.
- I want the money not the plaque you gave me!
- I’m now going to teach you a big boy lesson about lawsuits and finance. You ungrateful dog!
- I have more hair than you do and there’s a slight age difference.
In 2015 Trump changed his attitude toward Miller again when he ended an interview with The Hill by praising Miller's song as it approached 100 million hits.
Other styles of music
Outside of hip hop, most lyrical references to Trump have appeared in songs ranging from satires of the billionaire, to outright protest in varying degrees of explicitness. One of the earliest Trump send-ups was the 1990 ballad "Donald Trump (Black Version)" written by Prince for fellow Minneapolis act The Time in which singer Morris Day calls himself a black version of Donald Trump, who can use his riches to "fulfill [a woman's] every wish, [and her] every dream". In 1992 Irish folk-rock group Goats Don't Shave had a #4 hit with "Las Vegas in the Hills of Donegal," which references Trump's casino business in imagining an Irish county that becomes a gambling mecca.
More recently, songs like "Fergus Laing" by Scottish folk singer Richard Thompson present thinly veiled references to Trump without mentioning him by name, while songs like "Fucked Up Donald" by Canadian punk band D.O.A. are more direct. Many songs attack Trump by mocking his supporters through stereotypical portrayals of their views and lifestyles. Phoenix-based comedian Brian Nissen comedian stars as "Mullets Over America" spokesman Dwain in the music video "Make America Great Again", while Rocky Mountain Mike's cover of "Mr. Tambourine Man" remakes the lyrics to be about Trump, with the song's title alluding to the color of his skin. Sung from the perspective of a xenophobic Trump supporter, the song opens:
- Hey Mr. Tangerine Man, build a wall for me
- I'm not that bright and don't know that you're not going to
- Hey Mr. Tangerine Man, keep Muslims away from me
- With my jingoistic worldview, I'll come following you.
In October 2016, author Dave Eggers launched a project slated to release one anti-Trump song each day leading up to 2016's election day. Originally called 30 Songs, 30 Days, Eggers' plan was to have each song performed by a different artist, but due to more musicians coming through with songs, it grew to be 40, and then 50 songs in 30 days. Eggers worked on the project with Jordan Kurland with whom he had previously worked on two similar election-related projects. Eggers' inspiration for the project came when attending a Trump rally in Sacramento earlier that year. Participating artists included Death Cab for Cutie, Aimee Mann, Bhi Bhiman, Jim James, Franz Ferdinand, Josh Ritter, Thao Nguyen, EL VY, R.E.M., Adia Victoria, Moby, Lila Downs, Mac McCaughan, Tim Bluhm, Vinnie Paz, Jesu, Sun Kil Moon, Filthy Friends, Radioinactive, Sheila Brody, Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird, Mirah, clipping., Sam Cohen, Blake Hazard, Wesley Stace, Loudon Wainwright III, Cold War Kids, Reggie Watts, Mission of Burma, Bob Mould, Ryan Miller, The Long Winters, Open Mike Eagle, Jimmy Eat World, Kyle Craft, Local Natives, Anthony D'Amato, Greg Holden, Laura Gibson, Tim Heidecker, Modern Baseball, Joe Purdy, and Rogue Wave.
In June 2017, Compound Sound LLC released Trumped Music, a 32-minute album of eight songs which are Fair Use parodies of famous hit songs throughout the years. These songs are sung by impressionist Christopher John as 'Donald Trump', with several tracks also featuring impressionist Andrew Harris as 'Vladimir Putin'.
Songs that mention Donald Trump
- "Gentrification Skank" by The Connotations (1986): "Attention all properly wealthy and white Americans who believe in laissez faire and the right of an individual to unlimited comforts. New York City has finally been fully gentrified. We can now live in an environment free and clean of filthy societal dregs. We have expelled all members of the inferior races, as well as artists, intellectuals, and other communists. God bless Donald Trump and the American dream!" 
- "Johnny Ryall" by Beastie Boys (1989): "Donald Trump and Donald Tramp living in the men's shelter" 
- "My Word Is Bond" by Donald D (1989): "And after that me and Donald Trump hung out / Donald talkin' 'bout Donald Trump,' man, y'all is crazy" 
- "Trump" by Cindy Lee Berryhill (1989), from the Rhino Records album Naked Movie Star.
- "Sick of You" by Lou Reed (1989) from the CD New York: "They ordained the Trumps and then he got the mumps..."
- "Donald Trump (Black Version)" by The Time (1990): "Donald Trump (black version), come on take a chance / A 1990s love affair, the real romance"
- "I Gotta Say What Up" by Ice Cube (1990): "I gotta say what's up to Digital Underground and Humpty Hump / Cause he makin' more than Donald Trump, you know what I'm sayin', yo"
- "Skin Trade" by Nice (1990): "I'm not rich like Donald Trump"
- “Skypager" by A Tribe Called Quest (1991): "Beeper's goin off like Don Trump gets checks”
- "Money and the Power" by Scarface (1991): "Rolling hard, stackin paper like Trump"
- "Pocket Full of Stones" by UGK (1992): "Call me Black Trump"
- "Da Funk" by Redman (1992): "I'm back with the funk, chump / You want funk, how many lumps? / I got spunk / I'm well known like Donald Trump" 
- "Las Vegas (In the Hills of Donegal)" by Goats Don't Shave (1992): "Inishowen could then be known for its multimillionaires / Where Donald Trump would like a chunk to live in solitaire"
- "Smart Like Einstein" by Little Charlie and the Nightcats (1993): "I was smart like Einstein, rich like Donald Trump".
- The Coup's eponymous song from their debut album Kill My Landlord (1993): "Break yourself Bush, it's collection day / Break yourself Trump, it's collection day / Break yourself DuPont, it's collection day / You stole the shit from my great granddaddy anyway"
- "Pimps (Free Stylin at the Fortune 500 Club)" by The Coup (1994): "Trump Trump check out the cash in my trunk/I am Donald Trump me think you mighta heard about me/How me last wife Ivana come and catch me money"
- "211" by Master P (1994): "Put more cash in my pockets than Donald Trump"
- "Incarcerated Scarfaces" by Raekwon (1995): "But yo, guess who's the black Trump?"
- "Money Talks" by Double X Posse (1995): "A bank account so fat that Donald Trump would wanna be me"
- "Paid" by Kid Rock (1996): "I'd still be in the house getting paid like Trump"
- "Three Strikes You In" by Ice Cube (1998): "I'm just tryin' to get rich like Trump" 
- "Mafioso" by Kool G Rap (1998): "Can't stop until I got a casa up in Trump plaza"
- "Trump Change" by E-40 (1998): "Trump change, I'm talking Donald Trump change / I'm talking Steve Wynn, I'm talking you know? E-Feezee"
- "Tru Master" by Pete Rock (1998): "In hot pursuit of Donald Trump rap loot"
- "Money Is My Bitch" by Nas (1999): "The best couple they seen since Trump and Marla Maples"
- "Speed Law" by Mos Def (1999): “Rocked the Trump Tower to the terrordome”
- "muzzle Toe" by Wu-Syndicate (1999): “It's reg or not, pockets love Trump Donald” 
- "Love on Haight Street" by BT with Rasco and Fifty Grand (2000): "Took me twelve months to stack money in lumps / Far from livin' foul but further from Don Trump"
- "Country Grammar (Hot Shit)" by Nelly (2000): "Let me hear, now / Let me hear now / Bill Gates, Donald Trump let me in now / Spin now, I got money to lend my friends now"
- "Bad Boyz" by Shyne (2000): "What type of nigga stay in the Trump for weeks? (Bad Boyz)"
- "Can I Live" by Cypress Hill (2001): "We tryna get money so we can be livin' like Trump"
- "Hip Hop Quotables" by Ludacris (2003): "I buy cars with straight cash, have meetings with Donald Trump" 
- "What More Can I Say" by Jay Z (2003): "I'm at the Trump International: ask for me I ain't never scared" 
- "Playas Only" by R. Kelly (2005): "Bet she ain't never seen a penthouse at the Trump / Me and are been around the world and we'll give it to you just how you like it girl" Google Play. Retrieved February 16, 2017
- "Thug Motivation 101" by Jeezy (2005): "I'm Donald Trump in a white tee and white 1's"
- "Good Morning" by Cage (2005): "Donald Trump, shotgun pump, illegal store fronts"
- "Shut Up Bitch" by Lil Kim (2005): "I'm in the Trump International, 30 floors up (so high)"
- "It's Goin' Down" by Yung Joc (2006): "Boys in the hood call me black Donald Trump" 
- "Jealousy" by Fat Joe (2006): "We fuckin with Donald Trump now" 
- "Heavy Metal Kings" by Jedi Mind Tricks (2006): "I'm like Trump in The Apprentice, only fire at night!"
- "The Format" by AZ (2006):"From Bed-Stuy to the East, I'm too at peace to lose it / But love it, I still does it, breathing off a Trump budget"
- "We Gon’ Make It" by Diddy (2006): "I spend absurd money, private bird money/That Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Bloomberg money"
- "Free Radicals" by The Flaming Lips (2006): "You're turning into / A poor man's Donald Trump / I know those circumstances make you wanna jump"
- "Midgets and Giants" by Sage Francis (2007): "Fuck an apprentice, I got more firepower than Donald Trump!"
- "The Morning News" by Chamillionaire (2007): "Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump keep arguin' about nonsense"
- "Mo Cars, Mo Hoes" by Fabolous (2008): "They know I'm hood rich, Donald Trump of the pumpers" 
- "This is the Life" by Rick Ross (2008): "I'm in Trump Towers, amongst earners"
- "Donald Trump's Hair" (2009) by Kacey Jones
- "So Appalled" by Kanye West (2010): "Balding Donald Trump taking dollars from y'all"
- "Get It" by Big Sean and Pharrell (2010): "I'm tryna stuff em until I can't fit no moreI'm talking Donald Trump level"
- "Listen to My Drama" by Ivy Queen (2010): "Yo soy fina como Gucci, la heredera de Donald Trump / I am fine like Gucci, Donald Trump's heiress"
- "Donald Trump" by Mac Miller (2011)
- "Trump" by Young Jeezy (2011): "Call me Donald Trump / The type that count my money while I smoke a blunt"
- "Racks on Racks" by Lil Wayne (2011): "Get money like Donald Trump"
- "Gucci Gucci" by Kreayshawn (2012): "I'm looking like Madonna but I'm flossing like Ivanka Trump"
- "I Need Dollas" by T.I. (2012): "Used to want dough like Jay-Z, but now I’m thinking Donald Trump"
- "Loco-Motive" by Nas (2012): "I started out broke, got rich, lost paper then made it back / Like Trump bein' up down up, play with cash"
- "Ball" by Lil Wayne and T.I. (2012): "I'ma fire my blunt like Donald Trump"
- "Google That" by Raekwon (2012): "Black Trump... with fat pockets" 
- "Pirates" by Rick Ross (2012): "Resurrection of the real, time to get the richer than Trump" 
- "I Wanna Be With You" by Nicki Minaj with DJ Khaled (2013): "At the Trump, and you bitches at the Radisson" 
- "The Dangerous Three" by R.A. the Rugged Man (2013): "I'm the Don: Corleone, Cornelius, Trump, King"
- "Karate Chop" by Shaquille O'Neal (2013): "You ain't got enough, better get a loan from Mr. Bill Gates / And Donald Trump and Carlos Slim"
- "Donald Trump Walk" by Jerry James (2013): "I'mma make them bottles pop / Donald Trump talk"
- "Off the Corner" by Meek Mill (2014): "Going Donald Trump numbers on the corner/I made a million on that corner"
- "Donald Trump" by Young Thug (2014): "Donald Trump, I made / Forbes list this month!"
2015–2016, during Trump's presidential race and election
- "Up Like Trump" by Rae Sremmurd (2015): "Forbes list, Forbes/ Read it like the bible/ Up like Donald Trump"
- "Black Friday" by Kendrick Lamar (2015): "I'm the son of the pioneer that got you near the sun / Play with him, bitch you better off voting for Donald Trump"
- "El Chapo" by The Game (2015): "This is goons day, I can have Guadalupe / Come through and knock Donald Trump out his toupee"
- "Dats It Fa Ya" by DJ Paul & Juicy J (2015): "On that presidential skunk, that's that Donald Trump"
- "Fergus Laing" by Richard Thompson (2015): "Fergus Laing he flaunts the law / But one day he’ll be wired / And as they drag him off to jail / We’ll all shout, "You’re fired!"
- "Free Enterprises" by Rick Ross (2015): "Assassinate Trump like I'm Zimmerman"
- "Donald Trump" by Upchurch (2016)
- "Bad Boy on Death Row" by Dave East (2016): "Donald Trump ain't safe on my block, gotcha your wifey at IHOP"
- "Mr. Tangerine Man" by Rocky Mountain Mike (2016)
- "Nobody Speak" by DJ Shadow featuring Run the Jewels (2016): "Flame your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest" 
- "FDT" YG & Nipsey Hussle (2016): "Fuck Donald Trump"
- "FDT Pt. 2" by G-Eazy (2016): "A Trump rally sounds like Hitler in Berlin or KKK shit, now I'm goin' in"
- "Trump" by Oral Bee and Mr. Pimp-Lotion (2016)
- "Black Barbies" by Nicki Minaj (2016): "Island girl, Donald Trump want me go home"
- "Talk to Me" by Run The Jewels (2016): "Went to war with the Devil and Shaytan/He wore a bad toupee and a spray tan"
- 30 Days, 50 Songs project, released daily between October 10 and November 8, 2016 by Dave Eggers and Jordan Kurland, including notably:
- "Viva Presidente Trump" by Brujeria
- "Tiny Hands" by Fiona Apple
- "No Favors" by Big Sean & Eminem: "I'm anti, can't no government handle a commando / Your man don't want it, Trump's a bitch! / I'll make his whole brand go under" 
- "Land of the Free" by Joey Bada$$: "Obama just wasn't enough, I just need some more closure / And Donald Trump is not equipped to take this country over"
- "Rockabye Baby" by Joey Bada$$: "Time is running up, feel the burn in my gut / And if you got the guts, scream, 'Fuck Donald Trump'"
- "The Heart Part 4" by Kendrick Lamar: "Donald Trump is a chump / Know how we feel, punk?"
- "XXX." by Kendrick Lamar ft. U2: "Wall Street, corporate offices/Banks, employees, and bosses with homicidal thoughts; Donald Trump's in office."
- "Notebook 04" by DOOM and Kool Keith: "Could have done a line of bump with Donald Trump"
- "Is This The Life We Really Want" by Roger Waters
- "Tin Foil Hat" by Todd Rundgren featuring Donald Fagen
- "Donnie Trump" by Will Hawkins
- "El Presidente" by Gwar
Pre-existing songs modified to be about Donald Trump
- "Born to Die," a 1982 song by Millions of Dead Cops begins with the chant "No war! No KKK! No fascist USA!" The chant was modified by American punk rock act Green Day at the 2016 American Music Awards to become, "No Trump! No KKK! No Fascist USA!" from there, the chant was taken to the streets by anti-Trump protestors.
- "Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan (1965) was reworded to "Mr. Tangerine Man" by Rocky Mountain Mike (2016).
- "Fucked Up Donald" (2016) by Canadian punk band D.O.A. is based on their song "Fucked Up Ronnie" (1981).
- "Sunday Bloody Sunday" a song by U2 contains the line "When fact is fiction and TV reality", but during U2's 2017 tour, Bono sung the lyrics "When fact is fiction and reality TV" in a reference to Trump's reality TV career.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l McCann, Allison (July 24, 2016). "Hip-Hop Is Turning On Donald Trump". FiveThirtyEight. ESPN. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
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- ^ Barshad, Amos (April 6, 2016). "The Joy Of "Fuck Trump": YG and some goofy kids from Baltimore have the Trump catharsis you need". The Fader. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
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- ^ Zaru, Deena (September 2, 2015). "What hip-hop lyrics tell us about Donald Trump". CNN. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- ^ Makarechi, Kia (January 25, 2016). "Mac Miller, Donald Trump's Least Favorite Rapper, Revisits Feud". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
- ^ Trump, Donald (January 31, 2015). "@MacMiller". Twitter. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- ^ Cirilli, Kevin (July 23, 2015). "Trump praises rapper's 'great' song about him". The Hill. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- ^ a b Jackson, Lucas (April 22, 2016). "Prince once wrote a song called "Donald Trump (Black Version)"". CBS. CBS News. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- ^ a b "Las Vegan in the Hills of Donegal". We Love Donegal. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
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- ^ Kornhaber, Spencer (October 12, 2016). "Donald Trump Is Terrific Protest-Music Inspiration". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- ^ "About 30 Days, 30 Songs". 30 Days, 40 Songs. Artists for a Trump-free America. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- ^ Kurland, Jordan. "30 Days, 30 Songs: Masthead". 30 Days, 40 Songs. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- ^ "Zeitgeist Artist Management". zeitgeistmanagement.com. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- ^ Cillizza, Chris (October 13, 2016). "Famous musicians are writing 30 anti-Trump songs for the final 30 days of the election". Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- ^ Goodman, Jessica (October 11, 2016). "Inside the making of Dave Eggers' anti-Trump music project, 30 Days, 30 Songs". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- ^ "30 Days, 30 Songs". 30 Days, 30 Songs. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- ^ "Trumped Music".
- ^ "The Gentrification Skank by Michael Holt". SoundCloud. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
- ^ Arnold, Thomas K. (June 21, 1989). "Motown Mover and Shaker Takes Stage at Fair Tonight". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
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- ^ Ruggiero, Bob (July 6, 2016). "Rick Estrin's Blues Cruise of Hohners, Humor and Hotties". Houston Press. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- ^ "Love On Haight Street". Google Play Music. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
- ^ "Playa's Only (feat. The Game) - R. Kelly". google.com.
- ^ "It's Goin' Down [Feat. Nitti]." Google Play. Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.
- ^ "Donald Trump's Hair - Kacey Jones | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
- ^ Drama Queen (booklet). Ivy Queen. Woodland Hills, California: Machete Music. 2010. p. 2. B0014536-02.
- ^ "Donald Trump Lyrics in Popular Songs". AWM. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
- ^ OfCourseGamer (August 24, 2013). "Saints Row IV - Donald Trump walk" – via YouTube.
- ^ "Trump". spotify.com. September 2, 2016.
- ^ "Eminem calls Trump a 'b----' in a fiery new song and goes after his brand". businessinsider.com.
- ^ "Joey Bada$$ – LAND OF THE FREE". genius.com.
- ^ "Joey Bada$$ (Ft. ScHoolboy Q) – ROCKABYE BABY". genius.com.
- ^ Rosen, Christopher (24 March 2017). "Kendrick Lamar calls out Donald Trump on new track, 'The Heart Part 4'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
- ^ "Todd Rundgren and Donald Fagen Take on Donald Trump in Video for 'Tin Foil Hat'". Ultimate Classic Rock.
- ^ "Donnie Trump". soundcloud.com.
- ^ Lynskey, Dorian (31 January 2017). "'No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!' – the punk chant that soundtracks the protests". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- ^ Bickel, Christopher (April 29, 2016). "'F*cked Up Donald": Punk Legends D.O.A. Eviscerate Donald Trump". Dangerous Minds. Retrieved November 13, 2016.