In 1992, rapper Tupac Shakur name-dropped Donald Trump in an interview with MTV, citing the billionaire as an example of all that is wrong with American culture—representative of the paradigm of American greed. “This world is such a...‘gimme gimme gimme! Everybody back off,’” Shakur said in a recently released clip of the interview. “If you want to be successful, if you want to be like Trump, gimme gimme gimme, push push push push. Step step step, crush crush crush. That’s how it all is, and it’s like… nobody ever stops.”
Shakur went on to call out other millionaires, including Michael Jackson, calling on the wealthy to scale back their own riches and give more to the less fortunate. “Everybody is smart enough to know that we’ve been slighted, and we want ours,” he said. “For us to be on our own two feet, ‘us’ meaning youth, or us meaning black people, whatever you want to take it for, for us to be on our own two feet, we do need help.”
Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett G. Price III joined Margery Eagan and Jim Braude on Boston Public Radio for their weekly segment, All Revved Up.
“The irony about this clip is that it could have been any of the hip-hop artists during the early 90s,” Price said. “Essentially, one of the macro-narratives of hip-hop culture in the early 90s was this kind of pushback against Reaganomics, this pushback against what we now call the 1 percent, kind of Trump-ism and individuals who were able to make a whole lot of money on the backs of individuals without turning around and trying to give assistance or give help or acknowledge that there were other people in the world. I think Tupac nailed this.”
The release of this clip comes days after the death of Afeni Shakur, political activist, Black Panther, and mother of Tupac Shakur. “He was prophetic here, and it’s interesting, because you hear his mother’s voice, you really do,” Monroe said. “You would cast him as a Democratic socialist, he certainly would feel the Bern.”
To hear All Revved Up, click the audio link above.Rev. Emmett G. Price III is a professor of music at Northeastern University, and the author ofThe Black Church and Hip Hop Culture.Rev. Irene Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist who writes forHuffington Post andBay Windows.