Donald Trump and Hip-Hop: A Deranged Historical Moment from 1999

It's truly a fascinating article by Nancy Jo Sales from Vibe magazine back in May 1999. This was just before Donald Trump started his flirtation with running for president, which moved on to harassment of it during his birther phase before his full on sexual assault of the American political system now. "Money Boss Player" is about Trump as the white mogul who is beloved by and himself loves rap royalty like the once and future Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs and Russell Simmons.

Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man lays out why Trump was so readily accepted by people who often struggled from poverty and violence to get some measure of success: "I like Trump's style. It's like 'I'm rich, fuck y'all. I build my buildings and put my name on them. Fuck y'all.'"

Sales describes Trump as "hip-hop before he himself knew." And, as Nelson George, author of Hip Hop America and now producer of Netflix's The Get Down, says, Trump was accepted by rappers for the very same reasons that he is celebrated by the disaffected racists in the Republican Party: his outsider status. George explains, "Trump is respected by people in hip-hop because he's not a corporate guy. He's a self-made entrepreneur, and that's key to the hip-hop mentality. They respect him for being a 'fuck you' hero.'"

It's amazing how long Trump has worked various cons. The "self-made" man would have gotten nowhere without his father's money and connections. The outsider worked the corporate world through investments and gaming bankruptcy laws, and now, as a politician, the longtime political donor pretends to be a naif-gladiator in the arena against the corrupt lions.

"What could be more hip-hop than self-promotion?" Sales asks before comparing Trump bragging about his wealth to LL Cool J and Jay-Z doing something similar. One white hip-hop promoter says of Trump, "He's shunned socially by old money...But now hip-hop is saying, 'Hey, you're our kind' and he's saying, 'Hey, cool.'" She adds, absurdly, "Trump has a ghetto pass." It never occurs to Sales or anyone that Trump is using rap for street cred and rappers are using Trump because they think he'll give them access to an elite world.

But, surely, you're thinking, Trump must say something that proves this is all just an act, another bit of the big grift, a quote that demonstrates that his latent racism is present. Well, you have to wait until the end, when Trump says, "I think hip-hop has done more for race relations, and more for respect among everyone, than anything. Because these guys really are respected. I can tell you - hey, the most important white people have total respect for these guys."

And there you go. The fuckery we've come to expect. It's not that the black artists and business people are worthy of respect. It's that white people respect them that makes them worth respecting.

But, no, go on, please, about his "appeal" to black Americans and what he believes are their shitty, unfulfilled lives.

(Click here, for the 2016 rap song, "Fuck Donald Trump." Times do change.)