Activism

“45 Lies” Project: Rappers & Artists Lyrically Call Out Trump’s Falsehoods

Artists including the Roots MC Black Thought, Talib Kweli, “Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs, and spoken word artist Sonya Renee Taylor have all contributed verses calling out the president’s many falsehoods.

Clockwise from top left: “Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs; artist Aneesa Nael Folds; actor, rapper and singer Utkarsh Ambudkar; and musician Dom Jones | Instagram/45lies2020
Clockwise from top left: “Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs; artist Aneesa Nael Folds; actor, rapper and singer Utkarsh Ambudkar; and musician Dom Jones | Instagram/45lies2020

Rappers, poets, and other artists are creating their own rhythmic rhymes to call out President Trump’s many falsehoods through a national campaign called “45 Lies 2020.” 

Created by poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph, “45 Lies” showcases videos made by 45 lyricists about the 45th U.S. president. In each video, a lyricist performs a verse for 45 seconds challenging a specific lie from Trump, set to an instrumental of “Impeach the President” by The Honey Drippers.

“America is a verb. Its destiny isn’t settled and requires active caretaking, particularly by those among us who seek to cultivate the truth. #45Lies is a set of actions in support of the American experiment,” Joseph told NowThis. “As a hip hop community, as a nation of letters and laws, as folks of flavor and passion, we turn current struggle to future folklore. We, the people, serve as a check on power gone awry. It’s poetic AND it’s justice.”

Artists including the Roots MC Black Thought, rapper Talib Kweli, “Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs, and spoken word artist Sonya Renee Taylor have all contributed verses. The project also asks them to challenge two more artists to create their own verses when posting their videos, so that the movement can spread virtually.

“At this urgent moment in time, we owe it to ourselves to ignite a deep engagement with our political truths, encourage our most respected peers to do the same, and fight back against 45’s assault on the honest word and the communities who are most vulnerable to the repercussions of his pathology,” the campaign’s website reads.

The website also has a section devoted to categorizing and fact-checking the president’s falsehoods, from claims made about Russia and Ukraine to broken campaign promises. 

All of the videos the artists create are available to watch on Instagram as well as the campaign’s website.