Entertainment

The Six Most Anti-Trump Performers at Work Today

Musical entertainment has become outrageously political in the age of Donald Trump — oh, how some big stars have fallen

In case you haven’t been paying attention, popular music has become a lot more blatantly political since Donald Trump nabbed the Republican nomination for president.

In essence, liberal singers and songwriters have come out of an eight-year hibernation to knock the new president for many things they barely sneezed at under the previous president.

“Right now, I’ve personally started writing stuff that leans into the political realm more,” rocker Dan Cramer, of The Texas Gentlemen, told CNN at this year’s South by Southwest Festival. “It’s sort of a situation at this point where, to me, if you don’t say something, then you’re saying something.”

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The idea that not injecting direct political points into your lyrics means you’re taking a political stance is an extreme position that has somehow become the norm with Donald Trump in the White House.

“Even if you don’t address it directly, you can’t live in this world right now and not be affected by the general sense of the way the world feels,” said Kirby Brown, one of the band’s guest members. “Whether you’re being overtly political or a little bit more clandestine, it’s going to have an effect on what you write about.”

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It’s true that artists are affected by the world around them. The environment and one’s own perspective inform a person’s artistic voice and what that person has to say. But the very worst art wears its political opinions on its sleeve. The very worst art is interchangeable with agenda-driven rants. That kind of art says nothing about the world at large. It simply divides audiences and typically does not provide any sort of intelligent perspective or thought.

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Some music has unfortunately degraded itself to that point in the age of Trump, where it’s considered hip and edgy to make repetitive statements about a president that half the country supported. The music is not good — it seems more about grabbing some attention and brownie points with fellow artists and the mainstream media than anything else.

Here’s a look at six of the most anti-Trump musicians and the songs they’ve made to prove the point.

Snoop Dogg. One of Snoop Dogg’s latest songs, “Lavender,” has the rapper outrageously shooting a parody version of Donald Trump. Even for Snoop Dogg fans, the song is just plain weird — it’s too wrapped up in politics to focus on fresh points, snappy lyrics, or a catchy beat.

Many people publicly criticized the music video, including fellow rapper Ice-T. The “Law and Order: SVU” star had once put out a song called “Cop Killer” — and even he thought Dogg went too far.

“The part where you point the gun at the president — that’s against the law. You know, you gotta know that,” the rapper told TMZ. “You can’t kill the president. But I think he pushed the line.”

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a noted rap fan, also dismissed the song. “We’ve had presidents assassinated before in this country, so anything like that is really something we should be very careful about,” Rubio told TMZ. “I think people could disagree on policy, but you gotta be very careful about that kind of thing. Because the wrong person sees that and gets the wrong idea, you can have a real problem.”

Fiona Apple. The sad thing about Fiona Apple is that she has real talent. In the age of Trump, she’s dropped her musical abilities in favor of way-out-there political songs. “We don’t want your tiny hands anywhere near our underpants,” chanted the “Criminal” singer in a song she performed at a women’s march in January.

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The singer also wasted her talent when she sang her own version of “The Christmas Song.” Instead of “chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” she sang at multiple shows and in a video posted to her social media — well, it’s so vulgar about the president we’re not going to repeat it here. Suffice it to say: Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Death Cab for Cutie. Death Cab for Cutie, an alt-rock band out of Washington State, took part in the “30 Days, 30 Songs” campaign, which brought together musicians to release one anti-Trump song a day for 30 days.

“With brutish charm, the women flock to be on his arm / Because it’s a sign of weakness to apologize,” as the lyrics read, in part —criticizing the president for comments about a loan he received from his father when he was beginning his business ventures.

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The “30 Days, 30 Songs” campaign has unfortunately turned into “1,000 Days, 1,000 Songs” — so be prepared for much more of these songs from your favorite bands.

Cold War Kids. The group released “Locker Room Talk” in October of last year, which was another installment of the “30 Days, 30 Songs” campaign.

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It’s just as self-indulgent and bad as the Death Cab for Cutie song — and way below the talent of typical Cold War Kids songs like “First” and “Restless.” Compare what little they have to say in their protest song to the rest of their catalogue of music — and it becomes clear why blatantly political music is just plain lazy.

Willie Nelson. The famously liberal crooner may be 83 years old, but that doesn’t mean he’s too old to jump on the Trump train for some media and fan attention. The country singer and infamous pot smoker revealed in January to Rolling Stone that an upcoming album would include an anti-Trump song called, “Delete and Fast Forward.”

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“Delete and fast-forward, my friend/ The elections are over and nobody wins/ But don’t worry too much, you’ll go crazy again/ Delete and fast forward, my friend,” are among the lyrics Nelson provided to Rolling Stone, adding that the song was about fast-forwarding four years — presumably to skip the first term of Trump and to jump back into the always-fun presidential elections.

Moby. The singer-songwriter has become a little Trump-obsessed as of late. He went on a near-incomprehensible rant on Instagram, in which he claimed to have “100 percent real” proof and confirmation that Donald Trump had been blackmailed by Russia into running for president and was now their puppet — a conspiracy theory that mostly fizzed and burned.

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Moby also released an anti-Trump song that feels like something a stoned college student would have made while trying to sound like Moby. It’s called “Trump Is On Your Side” and it was performed by Moby and the Homeland Choir.

“You’re all alone and filled with fear / The billionaire says what you need to hear,” read the lyrics. “He’s never really worked a day in his life, but he’s on your side.”

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