Transcript: more than ‘just to say i did it’

tape — Nancy Pelosi

Donald Trump is not going to be president of the United States, take it to the bank.





tape — Barack Obama 

I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president.





tape — Fareed Zakaria 

Let’s be clear, Donald Trump will lose the election.

tape — Stephen Colbert

Come on, come on buddy. All, let’s say cow poo poo aside, there is zero chance we’ll be seeing you being sworn in on the Capitol steps with your hand on a giant gold Bible.

tape — “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump”

I might vote for Donald Trump, just to say I did it. 

tape — Donald Trump

We’re going to build a wall.

tape — “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump”

I might blindly fall in love with a group of friends full of bigots (real trap shit). Ya’ll don’t know my aiming. I  got the vision like that’s so raven. 

tape — Trump Racist Against Mexico

They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.

tape — Trump Racist Campaign Comment

…and going to accuse decent Americans who support this campaign, your campaign, of being racist.

tape — “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump”

I might vote for Donald Trump just to say I did it (damn, Peggy). I might call the IRS, pay them a visit (damn, Peggy).

JPEGMAFIA, a Baltimore-based experimental Hip-Hop producer and rapper, who’s prominent in the underground music scene, teamed up with fellow rapper, Freaky, back in 2016. The two are known for their politically-charged and hard-hitting tracks.

Amidst the presidential campaign, they made a loud, chaotic, abrasive and thoughtful Donald Trump protest song… it’s called “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump,” released as a single.

In an interview with Vice News, right after the song was released, JPEGMAFIA said, “For somebody like me that talks about politics all the time, it would be too easy to just say ‘fuck Donald Trump.’ I have to make people be like “Why is he saying this and why are we letting them?”

“Them.” That’s a key word here because the idea of Donald Trump is far more than just one person. It’s a collective, one that often espouses bigotry.

tape — “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump”

I might blindly fall into a group of friends full of bigots. (Real trap shit) Y’all don’t know my aiming.

“A group of friends full of bigots.” That’s the ‘them’ I was referring to. But alright… we need to take a few steps back. In order to understand  this song as a protest against America as a deeply-rooted and racist system with Donald Trump as its product, a brief historical context is incredibly important.

Let’s start with more recent history: “Make America great Again,” the slogan Trump largely ran on in 2016. Lawrence D. Bobo, a professor of social sciences at Harvard University, wrote about this slogan in The British Journal of Sociology.

He wrote, “The call to ‘Make America Great Again’ was a none- too-subtle dog whistle signalling an effort to return to an America where the material well-being and privileged position of white citizens would be protected and made something that could be again taken comfortably for granted.”

In other words, Trump’s rhetoric is a call-back to former political leaders who used racism to quell fear among white people.

For Example, President Richard Nixon 1968.

tape — Nixon Law and Order

So I pledge to you, we shall have order in the United States.

An infamous ad from President George H.W. Bush.

tape — Crime  Ad

Horton fled, kidnapped, kidnapped a young couple, stabbing the man and repeatedly raping his girlfriend.  Weekend Prison Passes, Dukakis on Crime.

And now, President Donald Trump.

3:00 tape — MAGA

We will make America proud again, we will make America safe again, and yes, together, we will make America great again.

3:30 These are all dog-whistles, as Bobo stated, which in this case, is coded messaging made to garner support from groups of white people through “subtly” racist language.

So this song protests a collection of presidencies that articulate anti-Black racism through speeches, advertisements and political action. Donald Trump and the “Make America Great Again” slogan is the most recent presidential product spawning from a series of historical contexts and events that JPEGMAFIA and Freaky protest against.

Again, Bobo wrote, “Carefully crafted slogans and rhetoric that play on underlying racial resentments and sensitivities has been a routine staple of Republican Party politics.”

Those slogans and rhetorical strategies are addressed in this song in a relatively direct manner, especially in the final verse rapped by JPEGMAFIA.

tape —  “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump”

Fuck what you said, fuck out my bed, I’m rolling, I’m rolling I think they got me on my meds  Got a bitch that give that Nancy Reagan head Carter era, she was humping my leg Bush era, she be close to the dead Trump Era, I’ll be killing the feds.

Got a bitch that give that Nancy Reagan head Carter era, she was humping my leg Bush era, she be close to the dead Trump Era, I’ll be killing the feds (Real Trap Shit).

Wow… a lot to unpack here and not enough time but the point is that there is a build-up of racist presidents that prompted this song’s release, along with Trump’s decade upon decade of racist history as well.

Examples… here we go.

tape — Donald Trump 

I am the least racist person that you will ever meet.

tape — Newscast 

In 1973, the U.S. Justice Department took Trump to court after former employees claimed lease applicants for his apartment buildings were screened according to race.

tape — Newscast    

In 1989, after 5 Black men were accused of raping a woman in Central Park, Trump took out full newspaper ads in New York saying, ‘bring back the death penalty, bring back the police.’

tape — Newscast 

Later that year, in an interview with Bryant Gumbel, Trump asserted that a well-educated Black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market, even though studies refute that statement.

tape — Newscast 

And then, in 2011, Trump started the birther conspiracy, questioning whether or not Obama was born in America.

That’s why the song sounds so frustrated, aggressive and filled with resentment. It’s, wait for it… punk. Yeah, punk. It’s anti-authority, it’s chaotic, it’s hostile and it’s well-warranted, essentially responding to a system that rewards white supremacy. I mean check out this audio from a live performance. It exudes so much pent-up anger that’s a result of a persistently unequal government that oppresses Black people through policy and culture.

tape — Live Performance

Feed all my niggas with pistols and privilege them digits (Ay, Dios míos, Peggy) Finna tell that nigga Chris Christie to pay me a visit I brought the guns to the house, I got my feet on the couch I don’t think y’all understand but I’m tryna bring back the south.

Doesn’t it sound like punk? Intentional or not, “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump” has punk qualities, some of which are “anti-normative” and “anarchic.”

These descriptions are ones that Benjamin Court, a musicologist at UCLA,  uses in an article titled “Racialising Amateurism: Punk and Rap.”

It’s fitting for punk to be so apparent in this song. In short, punk and rap have incredible similarities regarding anti-authority, protest and even geographical origin. But rap has been viewed far different from punk in mainstream media.

Court gets at that idea by writing, “In spite of these similarities, critics in the mainstream – shaped by implicit and explicit racial bias – characterized rap as a ‘simplistic’ and ‘naive’ type of music.”

JPEGMAFIA is flipping the script, and one of the ways he’s doing that is through song titles. I mean, “I Might Vote for Donald Trump” is quite the title. Don’t take it on face value, unless you yourself are simple and naive, as Court says… JPEG explains:


Most people take it at face value. That’s why my titles are like that, they’re supposed to like… I don’t know, if you read it and take it at face value you’re not really listening to the music.

In other words, JPEGMAFIA weeds out specific types of fans. If you’re not aware enough, curious enough or open-minded enough to give the song a chance based off of the title, then you will never truly GET the message. There’s just no chance.

I mean let’s quickly check out some of the lyrics and various messages throughout the song. They’re too clever not to give them attention.

tape —  “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump”

Damn Peggy.

tape —  “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump”

Fuck a Jordan and a Huckabee (fuck ’em), I never wanted the mic (yo) I never wanted this life (yo), I got a hit for your signs (I do).

“Fuck a Jordan and a Huckabee, I never wanted the mic.” Great play in words here. JPEGMAFIA is referring to basketball legend Michael Jordan and former Arkansas governor  Mike Huckabee. Huckabee is known for his strict Republican views and Jordan has been historically somewhat silent regarding political and social justice issues. He has also reportedly had a distaste for Hip-Hop over the years.

Here’s another one, this time rapped by Freaky.

tape —  “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump”

In the back of the Bell burning my degree (Llama)  At Uni Mart yelling, “Fuck Bernie.” 

Bernie Sanders was of course opposing Trump on the Democratic side. This really paints a picture more than anything. I’m just imagining a bunch of COVID-19 anti-masker types screaming “fuck Bernie” in a Uni-Mart, which, you know, imagine it as a Walmart. You get the idea.

Anyway, last one… here’s another from JPEG

tape —  “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump”

I brought the guns to the house, I got my feet on the couch I don’t think y’all understand but I’m tryna bring back the south.

Imagery here, very important. He’s bringing guns to the house, The White House, and he’s got his feet on the couch. He’s symbolically reclaiming what over 400 years of racism stripped away. And then, quote, I’m trying to bring back the south, unquote. He’s ready to fight to tear down the United States racist system of government and culture.

And this builds on the anti authority and punk influence I was talking about before.

tape — Live Performance

I don’t think that ya’ll understand, but I’m tryna bring back the south. 

But regardless, all of the lyrical content, the punk influence, the song’s abrasive nature and the historical criticism throughout… it gets at one thing: the United States system needs to be shaken up. Something needs to change.

And this song, as underground as it might be perceived, shouldn’t be considered something that’s on the fringe of society. It just calls it how it is. This U.S. system is racist. It’s right in front of you: Donald Trump. Look at what he’s saying and how he’s acting. This is what the system allowed.

But with most things that protest systemic flaws, the song is sometimes viewed as “edgy,” which ya know, speaks for the system being racist. I equate “edgy” with “not totally accepted.” Quickly, JPEGMAFIA explains more.


But like, this is real. Like, I’m a Black man. I’ve been a Back man for 30 years. So like, what I’m talking about ain’t fucking edgy. It’s real life. White people deal with it as edgy because they can’t deal with it but like nah yeah, this is real life shit I’m fucking touching on.

What’s real for communities of color, specifically in this case, Black communities, is often just lost on so many people in positions of privilege. And that… that is why this song is necessary. That is why we need change. As Trump says, believe me. Believe me.

tape —  “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump”