The music industry has had quite a week. Rapper J. Cole dropped an unexpected new album, while Kanye West and Shania Twain face the repercussions of having an opinion.
Just like most any news cycle these days, these stories all have something to do with Donald Trump, but that’s not where the connection ends. In fact, believe it or not, these 4 individuals share something you might not be able to see with the naked eye.
Court’s In Session
We are going to look at this situation as if it was a court case and these 4 individuals are on trial. Why would we do that? Becuase they are on trial.
Today’s sociopolitical climate has reinforced the line placed between the two major political parties so vividly that you can almost physically see it in a crowd.
Liberal, Democrat, Conservative, Republican, Liar, Racist, etc. the names and titles are thrown about like jabs, kicks, and guillotines in an MMA match or better yet…a RAP BATTLE.
The public has responded to the election of President Donald J. Trump by putting each other on notice. Based on the first quarter of the year the general agenda of mainstream media appears to be shoot first, ask questions later. If you can read between the lines you’ll probably laugh at the irony displayed in that last sentence.
That brings us to the Court of Public Opinion. In a nation that was built on FREEDOM, it again seems very ironic that we are seeing artists being thrown in front of a firing squad for speaking their minds. I mean…Isn’t that what artist do? None the less, let’s take a look at these 4 individuals who are currently on trial and find out what they all have in common.
Defendant: Shania Twain
I’m not sure if you respect CNN as a news source, but when it comes to something like this you can be confident in their gathering of the facts. According to this article (and many others across the web), Country Singer Shania Twain recently said that she would have voted for Donald Trump if she was an American citizen. Via the article here’s the quote:
“I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest,” the newspaper quoted her as saying. “Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both. If I were voting, I just don’t want bulls**t. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?” Twain said.
The Charge: Hypothetical Vote For Donald Trump
Options: Apologize or lose money
Once the media caught wind of a celebrity saying anything remotely positive about Trump (must be an alert or algorithm out there) the Internet Lawyers were out in full force. Eventually, someone in her camp must have said to her, “Shania, honey this is messing up the money…we need to get down on our knees and beg for the mercy of the court.” This alleged conversation resulted in this factual quote from Shania Twain:
“I would like to apologise to anybody I have offended in a recent interview with the Guardian relating to the American President. The question caught me off guard. As a Canadian, I regret answering this unexpected question without giving my response more context ,” Twain said.
The Verdict: Guilty of Hypothetically Voting For Trump
The Sentence: A week or two of unfollows on social media, but a lifetime knowing you caved under pressure.
Only time will tell if she remains a “good girl” and plays by the “rules”.
Defendant: J. Cole
If you don’t know who J. Cole is you can learn more here. To sum him up in as few words as possible, he’s a talented rapper who basically marches by the beat of his own drum (get it?). He is best known for his lyrical content which is often laden with several attempts to “kick knowledge” to the African-American community.
The Charge: Guilty of Lyrics Unfavorable to Democrats
Options: Dis Donald Trump or Face Consequences
In a song titled “Friends” from his most recent Album “KOD”, J. Cole says;
“Blame it on crack, you can blame it on the system
Blame it on the fact that 12 got jurisdiction
To ride around in neighborhoods that they ain’t ever lived in
Blame it on the strain that you feel when daddy missing
Blame it on Trump sh*t, blame it on Clinton”
The last word is what has Cole in the crosshairs of Internet Lawyers and Internet Jurors alike.
Had he just said “blame it on Trump” things would have been fine? Black rapper against Trump, nothing to see here! All’s well! But, when he goes on to suggest you could, “blame it on Clinton” as well, that’s a no-no. Black rapper suggesting that a Democratic Presidential Candidate…a CLINTON, could be blamed for any wrongdoing, for any negative effects of their race in American society is just…not “normal”. That’s the point though.
If you listen to J. Cole as I recommend you should, you’ll notice that amongst the usual bravado involved with Hip Hop, you will hear the voice and words of a Black man allowing himself over time get comfortable speaking his mind. At this point, it seems like his frustration with the current state of his people has him very close to throwing caution to the wind and saying something that will have those with limited knowledge of history and politics dumfounded. Check out this article from FactCheck.org. That’s right FACTCHECK.ORG.
The Verdict: Guilty of Spewing Hatred Towards a Democratic Presidential Candidate
The Sentence: Backlash from Music Reviewers
The album has received mostly positive feedback, but it’s interesting that KOD’s negative reviews (like this one from Vulture) paint a sudden picture of the once prophetic lyricist as a “conspiracy theorist”, claiming that he’s “your run-of-the-mill, self-righteous conscious rapper talking down from his high horse”. Honestly read this dribble, courtesy of Vulture’s Craig Jenkins:
“Depression, anxiety, and PTSD flourish in disadvantaged communities in part because of the very insinuation that all of our human problems can be solved by prudent soul-searching. The song’s closing refrain of “Meditate, don’t medicate” is cloying junk science. Floating the suggestion that prescriptions are an on-ramp to addiction to people using them to find peace is a dangerous gambit; we don’t tell people with angina to tough out the chest pains.”
Really dude? I think you really missed the whole meaning behind those bars, but lyrics are subject to interpretation until the artist says otherwise. So, although I suspect incompetence I could be wrong. I doubt it though.
Defendant: Kanye West
Recently Kanye West reportedly told a well-known Hot97 radio host, “I love Donald Trump”. You can check out the story here. Anyone who has really listened to Kanye’s music should not be surprised. I repeat you should not be surprised.
The Charge: Public Affection For President Trump
Options: Walk Back The Comment or Face The Consequences
If you recall Mr. West was hospitalized shortly after an onstage rant expressing that if he voted he would have voted for Trump. Now, I could go on and on posting a few lyrics or comments from Kanye which would help you understand his connection to Trump and why it makes perfect sense, but I found an article that perfectly picked apart his onstage rant. The results are a spot on explanation of why he supports Trump.
“Kanye West has always had a testy relationship with politics and politeness. But after his widely panned onstage monologue Thursday night at his show in San Jose, where he confirmed rumors that he supported Donald Trump, he may have finally alienated his fan base.”
Okay, known to speak his mind on politics.
“West’s first, famous foray into American politics came in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when he said on a live TV fundraiser that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” It was a stark, sad statement that sealed his reputation as an unfiltered verbal bomb-thrower.”
Has the cajones to do this in front of a live audience.
“As his wealth and fame grew, however, that same streak of contrarianism has led him down some unusual paths that sometimes put him at odds with contemporary liberalism.“
Beef with Liberals…okay.
“He even eventually walked back the Katrina comments that had clearly rankled Bush. Fans who had cheered his candor in criticizing the president on live TV got a first glimpse of a Kanye who, in his many contradictions, seemed to always end up supporting whatever got him the most attention.”
So, is he for real or just looking for publicity?
“Now his knack for baiting audiences may have finally boiled over. But as always with Kanye, it’s complicated.”
The plot thickens…
“West admitted onstage in San Jose that he didn’t vote in this year’s election. Almost all of his musician peers, including Jay Z, Chance the Rapper and Beyoncé, turned out at rallies for Hillary Clinton.
But West escalated his controversial views by saying that he personally supported Donald Trump. To boos from the startled crowd, West said, “I told y’all I didn’t vote, right? But if I would’ve voted, I would’ve voted on Trump.”
His reasoning, to judge from the onstage cajoling, centered around Trump’s similarly unfiltered, purposefully offensive language and command of social media.
“There’s nonpolitical methods to speaking that I like, that I feel were very futuristic. And that style, and that method of communication, has proven that it can beat a politically correct way of communication. And I [agree] with that,” West told the shocked crowd. “I actually think that his approach was absolutely genius. Because it … worked!”
He went on to add that, in his view, America spends too much time talking about racism — “We are in a racist country, period. Do not allow people to make us talk about that so … long” — and that he felt victimized for being a black, celebrity Trump supporter.”
His father, Ray West, was a member of the Black Panther Party, one of his favorite rappers is Nas, and if you can listen to and comprehend his song “All Falls Down“, then everything you read here today about Ye should all fall into place.
The Verdict: Guilty of Being a Free Thinker
The Sentence: Labeled as Mentally Ill
As a Black man who has a similar background to Kanye’s I can completely understand his reasoning. Based on reports and his own statements, I do know he had an opioid addiction, but I don’t know if he is “crazy”. I also know that people called Tupac, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., JFK, and Abraham Lincoln crazy. Their lives and similar deaths hold their own commonality.
Defendant: President Donald J. Trump
Charge: Disrupting The American Political System
On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump won the United States Presidential Election. After unapologetic statements and opinions. After vowing to build a wall to deter undocumented immigrants from Mexico and other countries. After bragging that he can “grab women by the p*ssy”.
After insulting his way past 16 other Republican opponents and a former First Lady/Secretary of State. Without even a minute held in public office prior to his election; This guy won. What the hell does that tell you about this country we live in?
The Verdict: Guilty of being unfiltered in a manufactured PC country, not backing down to mainstream media, not apologizing for anything, liking women, speaking his mind, inciting racists, pissing of Liberals, inadvertently empowering feminists, and much much more
The Sentence: President of The United States of America (4-8 years?)
So, let’s revisit the question. What do Kanye West, Shania Twain, J. Cole, and Donald Trump have in common? All 4 have recently felt the effects of speaking your mind in 2018. You have to admit things are very touchy right now but have you ever stopped to actually try to figure out why?
How could a man so reviled by so many be able to win a presidency in this country? My opinion; In a country supposedly built on FREEDOM, people are getting tired of being told what to say and think.
Whether I agree or disagree with anyone, I respect their right to say what they want to. Sure there are consequences, but the consequences of living life in character, playing the role of someone other than yourself is a sentence worse than death. There is only one solution.
There’s only one way Donald Trump is allowed to say what he wants to say when he wants to say it and survive. #FinancialFreedom
You can attack his businesses all you want, it won’t do any good. He has what you call “FU Money”. This money is impervious to boycotts, propaganda and negative media coverage. This is the only key.[Feature Photo by William White on Unsplash]