Earlier today, the hip-hop artist posted a screenshot of Joe Biden’s proposed tax plans, which showed that wealthy residents of his native New York City would have to pay tax a rate of 62%. In an emoji-laden caption, he wrote “WHAT THE FUCK (VOTE ForTRUMP) IM OUT…FUCK NEW YORK, The KNICKS never win anyway…I don’t care Trump doesn’t like black people 62% are you out of ya fucking mind.”
In fairness to 50 Cent, the man is nothing if not consistent in his attitude to taxation. Way back in 2010, he tweeted, “Shit I should run america. first thing I'd do is cut my taxes then tell yal chill the fuck out ima get to the rest of the problems". It’s also not that surprising that an artist who rose to prominence with an album titled ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and once claimed to be too rich to help his grandmother take out the rubbish bins isn’t a committed Marxist-Leninist.
Given the state of race relations in contemporary America, it’s controversial for an African-American hip-hop artist to come out in support of the President, however tongue-in-cheekly. But in fact, Trump’s relationship with the hip-hop world is complicated. He has, of course, been denounced by a number of hip-hop artists, but prior to becoming president he was frequently referenced as a symbol of bombastic, aspirational wealth.
According to the Washington Post, Trump has been name-checked in over 300 rap songs over the last 30 years, including by iconic artists such as as Nas, Lil Wayne and, of course, Kanye West. Referring to a spate of early 1990’s Trump references, the Post argues “these songs told high-definition tales of criminal aspiration and they seemed to align with Trump’s merciless quest for wealth.” 50 Cent’s pro-Trump remarks might be controversial, then, but they’re not unprecedented.