Rapsody Calls Out Donald Trump for Comments About Women & His Campaign's Attack on Hip-Hop: Guest Essay


North Carolina rapper Rapsody weighs in on Donald Trump's lewd comments about women, which recently came to light in a 2005 video posted by The Washington Post last week. In the clip, the Republican presidential nominee is seen talking to TV personality Billy Bush, bragging about being able to grope and kiss women because of his fame. "Grab them by the p---y," Trump says. "You can do anything." Trump has since apologized for the remarks, calling it "locker-room banter." Below, Rapsody reflects on voting for President Barack Obama and calls out Donald Trump supporters for rallying behind a presidential candidate that "goes against everything American." Trump is not directly mentioned by name, but referred to as "Mr. Not Obama."

At Bright Lady Studios in Raleigh, North Carolina, my team and I gather and talk everything from sports, music, life to politics. It is our safe haven, our barbershop, our "Huxtable living room." Last night's conversation grew around the comments of the Republican nominee's disrespect of women. I refuse to acknowledge him by name because he just doesn't deserve our energy, so for now I'll refer to him as "Mr. Not Obama."

Honestly, it was hard for me to even have a reaction to the statements on "p---y grabing" and "buying of women's respect" because of one's wallet size. After a year of disrespectful, hateful, racist, misogynistic comments and speeches, nothing surprises me anymore in regards to Mr. Not Obama.

What grabs my attention more is the people who support and rallied to put him in this position of the Republican Party's nominee for president. Some of these individuals are women. Others have wives, daughters, and sisters. ALL of the above have mothers and grandmothers.

This isn't so much as a "Mr. Not Obama" issue as it is an American issue.

These actions say a lot about what many in our society truly feel when it comes to women, race, and religion. These are the very individuals of whom I choose to address.

Women, look yourself in the mirror. Parents, look at your daughters. Brothers, look at the woman you call your sister, your mother, or your grandmother. Tell them you are truly doing this for them. Give them the excuse of "Oh, it's just locker room guy talk" and in the words of some of his surrogates, "it's no worse than what those rappers say."

You love to attack hip-hop. That's easy though. I get that.  The media paints hip-hop -- and most things dealing with black culture -- as the catalyst for all world problems. In reality, however, you hate hip-hop because it turns the mirror on America and shows her just how ugly she has been to many.

Misogyny isn't a hip-hop problem, it's an American problem.  

Still, there aren't any rappers running for president. There aren't any rappers campaigning to be the leader of the Free World, and in fact, the representative for all Americans. So, in laymen terms, what the hell does that have to do with anything? That is an answer I surely will wait for.

You live in a country called the UNITED States and you get all up in arms about saluting a flag that is supposed to represent that unity. Instead, you rally behind an individual that goes against everything American. Who are you?

Moreover, how can an individual running to be leader of the free world, and discriminate against so many that are the heart and lungs of this nation, not be disqualified to run for such a position? Sigh.

I didn't exercise my right to vote until 2008. I never really paid attention to politics or had a want to vote because I simply didn't think my vote mattered nor did I have much trust in the process or establishment. President Obama changed that for me by giving me hope; hope that the power we possess as a unified people could overshadow the power of wealth by the few.

Fast-forward two terms and eight years, and we'll soon be sending our salutations to one of the best presidents we've ever had, in my book. The president is a person of the people, and their job is to be a representation for all regardless of gender, class, race, creed, religion, sexual orientation and the like. As a leader, they lead and make decisions for the greater good of many without bias or discrimination.

It has been a pleasure watching President Obama and the first lady lead our country with such grace, dignity, class and respect. President Obama spoke for the underprivileged, for women, our forgotten veterans, children and so many voices that go unheard. I was honored to be one of a handful of artists to sit and have a roundtable discussion on how we could help achieve greatness through the culture of hip-hop. Obama also utilized hip-hop to help him reach and inspire so many of those voices, which is the true and original intention of our culture. That is the definition of greatness. And with greatness comes a greater America.  

Here we are in the year 2016. We are a few weeks away from the election that will decide who will be the 45th president of the United States. We have several choices to make on Nov. 8. We have a choice to exercise our right to vote or not. By exercising that right, we can choose to vote for someone who will represent U.S. and who we want to have power to make decisions not only for us, but our children, our sisters, our mothers, wives and grandmothers.

To exercise your right to vote on a man that you think will make America "great again," based on his celebrity and fortune, well… I guess he indeed "grabbed your p---y." So, this to him is just a game, and you got played.