When The Prezidency dropped in 2016, like you, I was shocked. Who knew someone could be so stupid and have it all on record for us to listen to? It's a fascinating album, and people will be talking about it forever. But is it any good? After listening to it for almost four years, I have the review.
We had an early taste of what the album The Prezidency was going to offer when Trump said he saw thousands of people rioting in the streets in New Jersey after September 11. When he led the "Birther" movement, he really found his voice. It was rough, it was coarse, but it was "New York tough" or something. It wasn't quite Lou Reed's or Grandmaster Flash's New York, but it had its own style. No one would accuse Trump of sounding like Sinatra, that's for sure.
The album's opener, "All Mexicans are Rapists," really gives you a sense of what's in store for the record. It reminded me of early Resistance Records releases, you know, the ones the kid down the street's older brother had. It had that stale beat and crusty, dated mindset. It's perfect on a hot summer day with no masks, a coupla Bud(weiser)s, and "no stupid Mexicans around," as he says in the first verse.
On the second cut, "White Race, Space Race, and 2020 Race," one could hear early Bull Connor, mid-period David Duke, and antebellum Jeff Davis all hashing it out in a rehearsal space together. It's not quite space rock, not really a race record ...
But things really start to get going with the third song, "Covfefe." It's like an Ornette Coleman free jazz piece but with spoken-word poetry over top. You get insight into what it's like to be inside Trump's mind — it reminds me of a fucking disaster, really, if it weren't so Barron and empty.
I knew that "Drain the Swamp" was a PR spin, a way to drum up hype just before the album dropped. But when it shows up here as the next track on the album with the "Fox and Friends Choir," it falls flat. That's because Trump never really drained the swamp, and his cronyism is just another day of Beltway robber barons lining their pockets. When Sean Hannity repeats everything Trump sings in the verse, there is a cool oscillating effect on the voices, however.
Trump collaborates with Billy Bush on "Grab 'em by the Pussy." Who knew Trump could be so bold! The roadies who worked on the bus during that tour have since confirmed a constant flow of groupies. That musta been some party bus.
He continues with the misogynistic theme to close out the first side with "Underage." Adding a touch of creepiness, there is only one chord in the song, "A Minor."
Side two opens with "Helsinking," and Vladimir Putin makes a guest appearance with a blazing guitar solo. Trump's repaying the favor, 'cos Putin had him guest on Putin's release back in 2012, Miss Universe. Though it wasn't an official release, it came out on a bootleg called "The Pee Tapes."
Trump continues the Russia theme with "Russia, If You're Listening," and his lyrical approach would — I mean wouldn't — sound out of place on a Kremlin mixtape smuggled out in the mid-'90s.
Trump really hits his stride on "Taping my Tie, Toilet Paper on my Shoe," and the tweet, I mean beat of the song had me doing a cautious, 15-minute-walk-down-a-ramp dance. When he sings, "I don't put scotch tape on my tie," you can almost believe him. Almost.
Next up, his protégé Jared Kushner gets a chance at the mic. His inexperience and privilege oozes, a constant drip of white boy NYU by way of B.S .that reeks of P.U. The protégé/mentor relationship is well-oiled, as Kushner is channeling Trump's B.S. through that cool, East Coast helmet-hair side-part. No one would ever accuse their mentor/protégé relationship of mirroring Dr. Dre and Eminem's, though.
"Charlottesvillain (Very Fine People)" has that Kraut Rock, Nazi feel. You can hear the chorus, "Jews will not replace us," sung at summer tiki-torch parties, with its echoes longing for a distant past.
On "When the Looting Starts, the Shooting Starts," Trump's racist rants are a Southern-fried boogie slab of direct lifts from the classic George Wallace playbook. Recuse yerself, Jeff Sessions, there's a new clown in town!
The album closer, "Ivana, Marla, and Me," is a reminder of all the many side projects Trump's had. Three marriages, countless affairs. It's hard to grasp the true beauty of a man who is a fuckin' idiot, but this track comes close.
The hidden track on the album, "Doesn't Ivanka Look Good," is a real banger. It's surprising in how it's blossomed and matured from its earlier leaks online into something that could be awed and pawed.
While it's certainly an interesting debut album, it made me want to reach for my Republican Classic records by Mitt the Romney. Hell, even the vocal trio of Newt, Rush, and Rove might sound dated, but the singing was better. You could say Trump is in his "fat Elvis" period, as John Lennon used to self-deprecatingly claim about himself around 1965-66. In Trump's case, however, it comes across as more "self-defecating."
The album cover is an image of a Trump concert with Sharpie-drawn people in the crowd. If you're looking for The Prezidency, it belongs at any thrift store, next to the Manilow. Hopefully there won't be a Vol. 2.
Eddie Baranek has voted in every election, big and small, since the day he was of age. He will be voting for Joe Biden in November.
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