Barack Obama has suggested that “the bling, the women, the money” in rap music partly contributed to Donald Trump’s increased support among Black male voters in the 2020 US presidential election.
While speaking to The Atlantic about the rise of populism in US culture, the former President made comparisons between the way Trump values success and the luxurious displays of wealth that can be found in rap 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,” Obama said.
“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.”
Back in August, Obama released his Summer Playlist for 2020 which included a selection of UK rappers including Headie One, Young T & Bugsey, and Little Simz.
Obama continued: “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 epitomizes that cultural movement that is deeply ingrained now in American culture.”
Election polls saw an estimated 20% of Black men voted for Trump this year, two percentage points higher than the 18% who voted for him in 2016, while Biden received 2% less of the voter share than Hillary Clinton did in the previous election.
His comments follow on from rappers such as Lil Wayne, 50 Cent and Ice Cube endorsing Trump’s policies in the weeks running up to the election. At his final rally before polling day, Donald Trump brought Lil Pump on stage to show his support for the campaign, with Trump referring to the rapper as “Little Pimp”, although it has since been revealed that Pump did not cast a vote at the ballot box as he was not registered.
Trump is still yet to officially concede to President-Elect Joe Biden after his election victory.