Over the weekend, rapper Plies tweeted what I had been wanting to say for some time in regards to the Black rappers who lent their voices in support of Trump, specifically in the past 2-3 months.
I wholeheartedly agree. And in an ideal world that would be the case. Black men aligning themselves with racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia on this scale should be unforgiveable. But in the world in which we live, that’s just not going to happen.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Only Black women get canceled.
Just this weekend, in celebration of the historic Biden-Harris win, I heard someone play Lil Wayne’s “Uproar.”
To be fair, the song is a bop. But I thought after his endorsement of Donald Trump that the community would at least be ready to take a break from Weezy F. Baby, a symbolic showing of disapproval of his ill-advised relationship with Trump, who didn’t have a plan for the Black community for his entire first term—only to throw together a “Platinum Plan.” And just like babies and shiny things, more than a few male rappers were mesmerized.
But just four years ago, a Black female artist did far less and suffered consequences far more severe than the light chastisement Lil Wayne has endured.
Many of us remember that during Donald Trump’s election, singer Chrisette Michele decided to perform a gospel song at one of Trump’s inaugural balls—for which Trump was absent.
There was no photo of them together. She didn’t support his policies. Instead, she hoped the performance would bridge the gap between Trump’s supporters and the rest of us.
If it bridged a gap, we never heard about it. Instead, according to The Washington Post, Chrisette played the price. In response to angry fans and the public backlash—including the most famous and most vocal from director Spike Lee—the record company canceled her recording contract. Radio stations stopped playing her music.
Eventually Michele was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and after that, she suffered a miscarriage—which she attributed to the stress of the death threats she received and the barrage of criticism that still follows her.
Four years later, when Chrisette Michele attempted to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden, she also had to address those who won’t let her forget a decision she admitted was a mistake. Thankfully though, these days she’s not as hurt by the opinions of others. And she’s still using her God-given gift of song.
“I Still Sing… I never stopped
I must of had 1,000 dreams last night. Finally a hopeful shift. I know I’ve said it 1,000 times but I’ve never supported the darkness we saw in high places and I’m relieved it’s being forced away now.
I know people will still be unreasonable. I know people still can’t hear or listen. If you’ve noticed, I’ve made peace with that.”
It’s a shame that Black women bear this type of weight while Black men get to do more damage and still be loved and embraced by the very people they sought to disenfranchise.