For the past 18 months, we Canadians have watched helplessly from the sidelines as America embraced a candidate who has been called, among many other things, a “racist,” a “sexist” and a “narcissist.” At first we treated it like a joke, but in November, the joke became reality when Donald Trump was declared President-Elect of the United Sates. Facebook was flooded with screams of terror and disbelief, with the occasional friend trying to find the silver lining in this dumpster fire. Some pointed out that we can expect four years of “kick-ass punk rock.” Like the rise of hardcore punk during the Reagan administration or the Fat Wreck compilations of the Bush years, many are hoping that punk bands will put their pens to paper and usher in a new era of political punk rock.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s already begun.
From the moment Trump announced his campaign, musicians set out to warn the world of the orange tyrant. There’s a whole treasure of anti-Trump art if you continue to scratch at the surface. You probably already seen the Municipal Waste t-shirt of Trump with a gun to his head that says “The Only Walls We Build Are Walls of Death!” on the back. And Fat Wreck is bringing back their “Not My President” shirts. There was an online campaign where 30 artists wrote thirty different songs against Trump, though none of them seemed to boil my blood and call for revolution the same way a punk rock anthem can. Here’s my list of punk (or metal) songs that stick it to the future commander-in-chief:
Ivanka Wants Her Orange Back by Dead Ending
This is song is coming off of a single 7” put out by Alternative Tentacles, the independent label owned by Jello Biafra, who recently toured with the slogan “Nazi Trumps Fuck Off.” Dead Ending is fronted by Vic Bondi, formerly of Articles of Faith. The song tells of the disturbing relationship between Ivanka Drumpf and her father. Donald even joked on live TV that if Ivanka weren’t his daughter, he’d probably be dating her. Even the cover of the single features that picture of Donald touching his daughter a little too low on the waist for comfort at the Republican Convention. GET OUT OF THERE, IVANKA!!
Fucked Up Donald by D.O.A.
Legendary Canadian punk band D.O.A. might not directly impacted by Trump’s actions, but they still have a message to send. Here’s an example of a fill-in-the-blank protest song, a common occurrence in punk rock. This song was originally recorded in 1981 with the title “Fucked Up Baby.” The song was then changed to the more memorable “Fucked Up Ronnie” in 1983 and took aim at Ronald Reagan. Over the years, the song has been changed to accommodate whichever asshole is in office. When I saw D.O.A. live in 2015, they changed the words to “Fucked Up Harper” to make it appropriate for the upcoming Canadian election. So once again, the song has taken on a new form and the word “Donald” fits conveniently into the chorus.
Viva Presidente Trump by Brujeria
Trump made a lot of enemies while on the campaign trail, but none more so than the Latino community. So it would make sense that Mexican-American brutal death metal band Brujeria would have something to say about it. The members of Brujeria are mostly Mexican-born and claim to be part of a murderous Mexican drug cartel. The band normally performs wearing ski-masks or bandanas over their faces to protect their identity, though it has been revealed that their current lineup features members of Napalm Death and Carcass. According to the English translation of the Spanish lyrics, the band actually wants a Trump presidency, but for the reasons that it’ll incite violence and war. The track opens with a clip of a man who is supposedly Donald Trump but doesn’t sound anything like him, followed by the battle-cry: “Viva Presidente Trump!” At the end of the song, the same man can be heard screaming in pain as he is being hacked to death by a machete.
Make America Great Again by Pussy Riot
Russian feminist group Pussy Riot know a thing or two about oppressive regimes. A few years ago, the band made international headlines when two of their members were jailed for speaking out against Vladimir Putin. Now they have turned their attention towards the new potential dictator. Trump has even said that he thinks he would have a good relationship with Putin, and the Russian media has already been praising Trump’s victory. The provocative music video for “Make America Great Again,” depicts what a Trump presidency could look like: a dystopian police state where immigrants and women are branded with dehumanizing labels, and boob-jobs and orange wigs are mandatory. The song is a lot calmer than the other songs on this list, but the punk rock attitude is still there.
That Makes Me Smart (Full Album) by Anal Trump
Not just one song, but an entire album and band dedicated to mocking Trump. Anal Trump is a side project of Cattle Decapitation frontman Travis Ryan and multi-instrumentalist Rob Crow. The songs are written in the same vain of infamous porno-grind band Anal Cunt. Each song is only a few seconds long, the longest song being 19 seconds. In total there are 30 songs on this album, but the album itself is only three minutes long. Each song touches on things that Trump has said on and off the campaign trail, with titles like “Blood Coming Out Of Her Wherever,” “Trump Tower Has the Best Taco Bowls” and “Harriet Tubman Is, Like a 3.” Between songs, there are short clips of Donald’s speeches, my favourite being: “You wanna be a terrorist? Go to Iraq! It’s like Harvard, okay?”
Honourable mention: FDT (Fuck Donald Trump) by YG and Nipsey Hussle
I felt it was worth mentioning this rap song because it has been the most prominent anti-Trump anthem yet. “Fuck Donald Trump” is the result of a once-thought-impossible union between members of the Los Angeles chapter of the Bloods and Crips to fight their common enemy. The chorus is catchy and simple, and has been shouted outside of Trump rallies since it’s release. The song caught the attention of the Secret Service, who reached out to Def Jam in attempt to censor some of the lyrics before the release of YG’s next album. YG got fed up with the government butchering his song and leaked the uncensored track through World Star Hip Hop. YG even remixed the song with white rappers G-Eazy and Macklemore to show this is a problem that effects everyone, not just minorities.
To my knowledge, there is only one existing pro-Trump song. It was written and performed by the Freedom Girls for a Trump rally about a year ago. In the end, the Freedom Girls were never paid the money they were promised (a classic Trump move) and are now taking steps to sue Donald Trump. Are you really that surprised?