Clifford Harris, who bears the moniker T.I. in the rap world, saw his last chart success almost five years ago. But he’s been getting notoriety lately for his political musings, such as the belief that white politicians who plan to legalize marijuana are “Righteous Decent White People” who use “their privilege to make a difference.”
And like many politics-oriented musicians, he’s now decided that his repertoire would be incomplete without a vile, completely uncalled for slight at Donald Trump’s expense -- or in this case, the first lady’s.
New York Post reported Oct. 16 that T.I.’s promotion video for his new album took lurid aim at Melania: As the president departs the White House by helicopter for his Mar-a-Lago resort, a Melania Trump look-alike strips naked and begins dancing suggestively in the Oval Office. T.I., who is seated at the president’s desk, looks on. The rapper posted the video on Twitter, accompanying it with: “Dear 45, I ain’t Kanye.”
Dear 45,— T.I. (@Tip) October 13, 2018
I ain’t Kanye. pic.twitter.com/BCS8nkbn1M
Smart. Everybody is talking about Kanye, the successful rapper who’s created so much anger by throwing in with Trump. Why shouldn’t T.I. see if he can inject himself into the controversy?
Melania Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham pulled no punches in responding to the vulgar portrayal, tweeting “How is this acceptable? #disgusting #boycottT.I.” According to TMZ Grisham later stepped up her censure with a statement: “Like it or not, she is the First Lady and this is the White House...These kinds of vulgar attacks only further the divisiveness and bias in our country -- it needs to stop.”
It won’t. There’s money to be made and virtue to be signaled, and #resist is in a race to the bottom.