“Amerikkka’s Most Wanted” by Ice Cube (1990)  —-> “New Slaves” by Kanye West (2013)  —-> “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump” by JPEGMAFIA (2016)


For my first lineage set, I want to discuss how various political themes connect all three songs. Each track is a call-back of sorts. In other words,  “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted,” “New Slaves” and “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump” could not have been made without the pioneered influence that fostered themes such as political rebellion, aggressive/abrasive delivery and blunt lyrical content.

It’s first important to note that JPEGMAFIA draws influence from Ice Cube and Kanye West. In an interview, JPEG admired how Ice Cube attacks racism from a “ground level” in his music, addressing how it occurs in everyday life. He discovered this on “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted.” In terms of Kanye West, some of his music has been “life-changing”  for JPEG, whether it be through sounds, delivery or lyrical content. These personal preferences are by no means the sole reason for this particular lineage. They just further show how influence further builds connections between songs.

In my previous listening, I discussed   “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump’s” incredibly direct and forward lyrical content, telling the audience exactly how it is. However, it’s not just about what JPEGMAFIA and Freaky say, it’s how they say it. It’s loud, aggressive, confident, forewarning and almost haunting in a sense. That’s exactly the type of lyrical delivery that Ice Cube and Kanye West employ. They do this to call out racism, just as JPEG and Freaky do.

I also mentioned in my last listening that “I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump”  uses irony and sarcasm to articulate ideas. “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted” and “New Slaves” do the same thing. On “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted,” Ice Cube says, “So give it up punk and then I just put another jack in progress. It’s the American way cause I’m the G-A-N-G-S-T-A.” There are some references here that I won’t get into but the important part is when he says, “cause I’m the G-A-N-G-S-T-A.” He ‘s being sarcastic in a way. That’s how America perceives him, as “G-A-N-G-S-T-A.”

On  “New Slaves,” Kanye West uses sarcasm as well when he says, “What you want, a Bentley? Fur coat? A diamond chain? All you blacks want all the same things.” West uses stereotypes with a sarcastic delivery to point out a racist system, of course contextually said in an album that attacks racist systems/institutions.


“Fuck Donald Trump” by YG, featuring Nispsey Hussle (March, 2016) —>  “I Might Vote 4 Doald Trump” by JPEGMAFIA  (May, 2016)  —> “Nobody Speak” by DJ Shadow, featuring Run The Jewels (August, 2016)


For my second lineage set, I chose songs that react to each other. They all protest Donald Trump and the general political environment.  “FDP,” which came out in March, 2016, is the first song to really criticize Donald Trump in such a direct fashion in the mainstream. It’s not only important to point out that the lyrical content is thoughtful (it might be challenging to imagine from the title) but also that the song’s framing is powerful. In the beginning of the video, part of the textual message states, “The next leader of America will be a most pivotal president… register ASAP and choose wisely.” Other text laid out exactly why that particular election was so pivotal but the important part is that the song not only protests, it attempts to create positive action.

“I Might Vote 4 Donald Trump” came out in May, 2016 and three months later, in August, “Nobody Speak” came out. It’s produced by DJ Shadow, with Run the Jewels, an experimental Hip-Hop group, rapping. Without the video, the Trump-era political protest angle is unclear. However, with the video we see utter chaos: political representatives verbally arguing, physically fighting and making an absolute mess. It’s comparable to the Capitol riot, except the representatives are the ones making a fool of themselves.

The two lineage sets have allowed me to further unpack the “I Might Vote 4 Doald Trump” protest anthem, showing that there are many outside influences that lead to music-making.