El-P doesn’t want to be confused with anything Donald Trump related, even if it means giving up one of his favorite clothing items. That means chances of seeing him sporting a red New York Yankees hat anytime soon are next to nil after he realized the connotation they may carry, thanks to the president elect.
“Red hat thing is no joke,” El wrote in a now deleted tweet. “Few white friends told me about realizing POC/women seeming nervous around them and it dawning on them: red hat. So yeah red hats out. Small as it is, it’s become a trigger for stress and fear and a sign of ideals I don’t wanna rep even from a distance.”
The reference he’s alluding to would be similarly styled red, “Make America Great Again” headgear wore by The Donald and his supporters while Trump was on the campaign trail. The caps and slogan took on a life of their own for wearers and everyone else as a symbol for GOP candidate’s often hateful message.
El-P’s not the only musician switching things up because of Trump. Last week, Donnie Trumpet, close friend and collaborator to Chance The Rapper, announced he would no longer go by his stage name to avoid being confused with Trump or anything the country’s next president represents.
“What began as a joke, a silly play on words, is not funny anymore,” he shared with fans via Instagram. I don’t want to be connected to Trump’s hateful tone or his hurtful message. I don’t want to be misrepresented or misunderstood. Trump’s beliefs are not mine.”
Now, the Social Experiment bandleader will go by his birth name, Nico Segal, which he believes not only separates him Trump but also points to his pride in being from a family and city made of many different cultures. “I am proud to be part of a multicultural family, from the great city of Chicago. I am grateful for the diversity of friends and family who have taught me and believed in me and encouraged me. I couldn’t stand to ever hurt them, or you.”
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Farewell, “Donnie Trumpet” We just came off the release of Coloring Book and The Magnificent Coloring World Tour, both huge successes. But all during the tour, something heavy was looming over me — Donald Trump — and the connection people are drawing between his name and mine. What began as a joke, a silly play on words, is not funny anymore. I don't want to be connected to Trump’s hateful tone or his hurtful message. I don’t want to be misrepresented or misunderstood. Trump’s beliefs are not mine. From this point on, call me Nico. I am proud to be part of a multicultural family, from the great City of Chicago. I am grateful for the diversity of friends and family who have taught me and believed in me and encouraged me. I couldn’t stand to ever hurt them, or you. Thank you for understanding. Peace, please, and so much love, Nico 🎺
It’s hard to say whether either artist is being overly cautious or not since most fans realize neither El nor Nico represents the same divisive ideals as Trump. But, one of the bigger messages heard in the wake of the election was how much we, as a nation of citizens, had work to do in order to repair the damage done by the candidates on the campaign trail. With protests happening in the streets, our country has been divided into many different opposing groups that all feel threatened by each other. Perhaps both guys do understand how these acts that say “I’m not with him” are small but positive steps towards healing the divide that exists.