Black Thought, Talib Kweli and Hamilton star Daveed Diggs are among those lending their voices to a new project denouncing Donald Trump.
Created by poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph, “45 Lies” is a national campaign using hip hop to take aim at the president. Joseph says he has never trusted politicians. Still, the first generation Haitian-American is alarmed over what he sees as “a climate of disinformation” that has ensued since Trump assumed the Oval Office.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Joseph talks about being inspired to launch the project about two weeks ago with the 2020 presidential elections looming in November.
“I really wanted to do something that implored artists, very specifically to organize around fighting back against the destabilization of our democratic institutions,” he explained.
Bringing together rappers, poets and playwrights from across the country, the campaign enlists 45 lyricists to “each take 45 seconds to directly challenge one of [Trump’s] blatant and dangerous falsehoods,” according to the project’s official website.
“45 lies SO incessantly “that we’ve become desensitized to his falsehoods, which inordinately impact the Black community,” the project’s mission statement reads. “Hip Hop culture contains the talent, the reach, and the credibility to ‘battle’ these lies, especially in time to encourage action and dynamic response during election season. #45Lies is an organized and viral campaign to hone and unleash our potential when democracy is literally on the line.”
In his self-filmed video, Black Thought references the revitalized Black Lives Matter movement, and the numerous lies Trump has told over the years. Kweli addressed Trump’s refusal to apologize to the exonerated Central Park Five in June 2019 following the premiere of Ava Duvernay’s acclaimed feature film, When They See Us, on Netflix. Other raps focused on the president’s claims he’s done more for African-Americans than any other president, his failure to denounce white supremacy, and his attacks on mail-in voting and more.
Check out their videos below and learn more about the 45 Lies project here.
(Photo: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)