Both Kanye West and Taylor Swift have been making headlines recently, but not because of a new hot single or some stunt they pulled on the red carpet at the Video Music Awards. Recently, both these artists shared their political opinions — and both proved to be somewhat unpopular views among their fan base.
Kanye West drew criticism last week following a speech he made at SNL minutes after the live show went off the air. His entire speech, which was strongly supportive of Donald Trump, was captured and posted to social media.
SNL cast member Pete Davidson directly addressed the rapper on the newest episode of SNL, which aired one week after Kanye’s speech. Many fans criticized Kanye’s speech. The rapper got himself even more ire from fans when he made a controversial tweet about the 13th Amendment, according to People. That’s the one that repealed slavery.
Reportedly, Kanye has deleted his social media accounts.
Taylor Swift got her fans angry, including Donald Trump, when she created a surprise social media post. Swift has never been so open about her own political views before, and many country music fans were upset after she endorsed Democratic candidates for the midterms.
View this post on Instagram
I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! ????????????
Many Twitter users expressed anger and disappointment at Taylor Swift, and even Donald Trump weighed in by saying he likes her music much less now.
But the truth is, musicians have had a huge effect on American politics, historically speaking. It wasn’t so long ago that musicians were also political activists who used their music to speak out against the Vietnam War.
Bob Dylan famously wrote about political issues, and his message was pretty clear. He is one of the most memorable folk music artists of all time, and an icon of the 1960s. N.W.A. addressed social and political issues that still resonate today, and Rage Against the Machine is so named because of their political views. Willie Nelson gets political from time to time, and he’s joined by many other country music singers who deliver clear messages in their songs. Cue Toby Keith.
The list of musicians who express their political views through song goes on and on — from Public Enemy to Randy Newman.
Billboard put together a list of musicians who have actually gone into politics by running their own election campaigns. Among them is Sonny Bono, one of the few examples of a musician who successfully switched to a career in politics.
Music has been highly political from time to time, and there will always be musicians who are political, too.