From Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” to Kanye’s “Lift Yourself,” unpaid, disgruntled TSA agents have begun blasting uncensored rap songs on airport loudspeakers as the government shutdown drags into its history-making 25th day. Rap has always been considered a genre born of protest, but now it’s living up to that designation thanks to government employees who are fed-up with both the status quo and leadership’s petulant, self-destructive efforts to shake things up.
Business Insider reported that at JFK International Airport, passengers noted hearing “Sicko Mode,” in its uncensored form, playing over the airport PA system in the place of the usual Muzak. “TSA has officially stopped giving a fuck,” tweeted one passenger. “‘SICKO MODE’ (dirty version) is playing on the speakers at JFK lmfaooo.”
Another visitor reported that “they were playing that poopty scoop Kanye song” at 6:30am, causing a sensation akin to being “in the twilight zone.” Meanwhile, once late-night flyer tweeted, “JFK airport carousel blasting ‘No Sleep Til Brooklyn‘ at 10:30 PM is kinda alright with me.” Reports also included Ludacris and Paramore. Given their long, unpaid hours working on their feet and the relative freedom from supervision caused by the shutdown, it makes sense that those tasked with safeguarding the airports and skyways (or at least providing the illusion of safety) are doing whatever they can to help the time pass.
And while it’s funny to think of miffed airport workers giving their bosses the proverbial middle finger with their musical selections, it’s also important to remember that they are working without pay, many of them with bills piling up and mouths to feed. Some workers have called in sick, unable to even make their daily commutes without those paychecks — all because a certain someone doesn’t want to sign a budget without a $5 billion allowance for a useless, racist chunk of concrete and steel he promised “Mexico would pay for.” “Sicko Mode,” indeed.