Why Did So Many Rappers Endorse Trump?

Katriona Page, Contents/Copy Editor

When Kanye West told the audience at one of his 2016 concerts that if he had voted, he would have voted for current president Donald Trump, he sent the internet into a frenzy. With so few celebrities coming out in support of the then-presidential nominee, West’s endorsement shocked many, especially as Trump has repeatedly made racist comments about African-Americans and other minorities.

Since then, a number of other high-profile rappers including 50 Cent, Ice Cube and Lil Pump have joined West and come out in support of Trump as well. 

Most recently, on Oct. 29, rapper Lil Wayne endorsed Trump on Twitter with a picture of himself and Donald Trump. Lil Wayne captioned the post, “Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured us he will and can get it done.”

The Platinum Plan, proposed by Trump in September 2020, is intended to support and win over Black communities by recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, prosecuting organizations like the Klu Klux Klan and providing $500 billion in capital to these communities by 2024. Ice Cube, another rapper, is working with Trump on the Platinum Plan, and although Ice Cube has said he has not yet decided whether to vote for Trump or his opponent, former Vice President and president-elect Joe Biden, he plans to choose the candidate he feels is more committed to the Black community.

For 50 Cent and Lil Pump, voting for Biden or Trump comes down to taxes. 

In an Instagram post from earlier this month, 50 Cent encouraged his followers to vote for Trump because even though “Trump doesn’t like black people,” under Biden’s proposed tax plan as stated by a news broadcast, some New Yorkers could be taxed at 62% hence why 50 Cent added, “62% are you out of ya…mind.” However, since then, 50 Cent has rescinded his support, saying he “never liked Trump, and told Lil Wayne he should not have posted the Oct. 29 Twitter picture.

Lil Pump made a similar move, posting a Photoshopped image of himself meeting Trump and following up with an Instagram live video, where he explained that he would be voting for Trump because of Biden’s tax plan.

West’s reasons may be the most confusing to parse. In 2018, he reaffirmed his support for Trump in a Twitter post where he claimed he and Trump have the same “dragon energy” and referred to Trump as “my brother.” Then, in an interview with the WSJ Magazine in March 2020, West discussed how he hated when people made assumptions about him based on his race, and how people often think that just because he is Black, he must be a Democrat, implying that he chose to support a Republican to counter that assumption. 

Other rappers, such as Cardi B, Offset, Common and Bad Bunny have announced their support for Biden.