Monday, 19 December 2016
No Pop Stars for Donald Trump
The Wrap, a U.S. news website, tells us that Donald Trump's inaugural committee is having problems finding stars who're willing to play at his inauguration ceremony (on 20 January 2017). The Wrap says that the committee is “calling managers, agents, everyone in town to see who they can get and it's been problematic”.
Apparently, Beyoncé and Aretha Franklin serenaded Barack Obama (back in 2008) in a show of racial solidity. And later Obama had “audiences” with other black stars, such as Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar.
Despite all this, Ted Nugent, Kid Rock and Billy Ray Cyrus do support Trump's presidency, which isn't to say that they'll play at his inauguration. And then there'll be many other musicians who're too timid to break away from the pop flock and admit that they support Trump. That would be soooo unhip.
It's also been well-publicised that Kanye West has said that he'd have voted for Trump had he bothered to get out of bed to vote. Kanye West also met Trump a couple of days ago. At that “meeting” the inauguration wasn't discussed. Mr Trump did say, however, that they were "just friends".
I can't prove that most pop stars are often more dumb than wise. But take Grammy-award winner, John Legend (another black “guest” of Obama's). What did he have to say about Trump failing to attract any pop stars? He said he's “not surprised”. And then he came out with this little bit of political effluvia:
"Creative people tend to reject bigotry and hate. We tend to be more liberal-minded. When we see somebody that's preaching division and hate and bigotry, it's unlikely he'll get a lot of creative people that want to be associated with him."
What's more, John Legend thinks that Trump is "a fantasist unmoored from reality". Is that unlike ultra-rich musical narcissists like, say, John Legend and legions of his ilk?
So who cares about the fact that pop stars don't want to play for Trump? Most of them are pretty shallow hedonistic creatures anyway. They usually know next-to-nothing about politics and a heck of a lot about being politically hip and fashionable. Of course they won't play for Trump! For one, he's a businessman. For two, he's old and white. How unhip can you get? (That's despite the fact that some of the best businessmen are pop stars; though they pretend otherwise.)
As for Obama's previous success in this department. I detest Beyoncé' endless melismatic outpourings. I'm sick and tired of super-tough gangstas and the glorification of violence in rap and hip-hop. I'm bored - and sometimes sick - of the soft porn, sexism and misogyny of R 'n' B videos and stage shows.
So I'd suggest to Trump that this is a blessing. After all, does it follow that if you can play four chords or sing a tune that what you say about politics will also be illuminating? The Will Smiths, Bob Geldofs, Bonos, Springsteens, etc. of this world should keep their mouths shut – except when singing. They're rich and famous for their music, not for their political wisdom.