On November 17th, Barack Obama will release his memoir, A Promised Land. Ahead of the book’s release, the former president sat down with The Atlantic, where he discussed the 2020 election, and delivered a truly bizarre take about rap music.
During the interview, Obama brought up the increase of Donald Trump support among black men — a trend he muses might’ve been influenced by materialism within rap music.
“People are writing about the fact that Trump increased his support among Black men [in the 2020 presidential election], and the occasional rapper who supported Trump,” he said.
“I have to remind myself that if you listen to rap music, it’s all about the bling, the women, the money,” he continued. “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.”
An NBC exit poll revealed that Joe Biden received 80% of the support of Black men, in compared to the 2016 election where Hillary Clinton got 82%. Barack Obama secured 95% and 87% respectively in 2008 and 2012.
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 epitomises that cultural movement that is deeply ingrained now in American culture.”
Earlier this week, Obama unveiled his Promised Land-inspired playlist that remind him of his time spent as president.
“Music has always played an important role throughout my life — and that was especially true during my presidency,” Obama wrote in a statement accompanying the playlist. “While reviewing my notes ahead of debates, I’d listen to Jay-Z’s ‘My 1st Song’ or Frank Sinatra’s ‘Luck Be a Lady.’
“Throughout our time in the White House, Michelle and I invited artists like Stevie Wonder and Gloria Estefan to conduct afternoon workshops with young people before performing an evening show in the East Room. And there were all sorts of performances I’ll always remember — like Beyoncé performing ‘At Last’ for our first dance at our inauguration or Paul McCarthy serenading Michelle in the East Room with, ‘Michelle.’”
Listen to the playlist below.