So far, Donald Trump’s inauguration performance lineup is shaping up to be a snoozefest of epic proportions. Not nearly as shitty and disheartening as the realization that he’ll be leading our country for the next four years, but nonetheless a fittingly dismal kick-off to the apocalypse.
3 Doors Down, Toby Keith and The Rockettes sound more like the headliners listed on a fake Coachella lineup meme than anything resembling an enjoyable listening session, so it’s time to join my dear friend Yoh in figuring out the ideal inaugural lineup if he or I were to ever take the office of the President of the United States of America ourselves, which up until a few months ago seemed more like a pipe dream than plausible life route.
Brendan's Inauguration Spectacular
Unlike the overwhelming negativity, divisiveness and bigotry characterizing the political discourse as of late, I’m going to commence my own personal commencement with as much positivity, inclusion, and acceptance as possible. Oh, and great music, of course.
First up, I’m getting Top Chance The Rapper, Kanye West, Kirk Franklin, The-Dream and Kelly Price on the phone so they can get the celebration started with a stirring live rendition of “Ultralight Beam.” Sure, Kanye’s recent public missteps in regards to his "buddy" Trump are cause for second-guessing this choice, but there’s no denying “ULB” and its soul-piercing synths, emotional sermon and all-around uplifting spirit.
As the country is busy wiping the tears of joy from their faces, it’s time to hit America with some energy. This is a celebration, right? Cue Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals, with .Paak sitting squarely behind the drums with rose-tinted glasses and an ear-to-ear smile.
“Come Down” is the sound of unbridled exuberance, and everyone—black, white, young, old, Democrat, Republican (hopefully)—will be forced to set aside their differences and dance, dammit.
Finally, with a need to set the tone for the next four years, Kendrick Lamar makes his way to the stage for a stirring rendition of “Alright.” With the full understanding that the #BlueLivesMatter crowd will be calling for my impeachment the moment by the time the second chorus hits, I’ll be sitting back and smiling with the unwavering hope that everything will be alright.
My choices, my thinking, and my hypothetical scenario might seem a bit too idealistic, but I’m the one dreaming right now, so that’s what you’re getting.
For what it’s worth, there’s going to be an inaugural after-party with Future, Young Thug and Travis Scott later in the evening, and Migos are the special guests. I never said I was perfect.
Yoh's Inauguration Message To America
“I was not afraid to show America my butt-naked truth," Erykah Badu stated when she appeared on Wanda Sykes' talk show in defense of her controversial music video for “Window Seat.”
I remember how people were offended by her stripping down to nothing and simulating an assassination in the same place that John F. Kennedy was greeted by a bullet. Badu wanted the video to represent liberation, and how removing the layers of clothing was like shedding the unnecessary baggage that keeps us from freedom and evolution. Trump’s election is proof that America is still wrapped in demons that need to be shredded so that we could progress. I would love for her to sing “Window Seat” at the opening of my inauguration, fully clothed, and, hopefully, the message would resonate seven years later.
We need to take it back to the essence: barebone, nude, and butt-naked pure.
Wale has always worn his blackness with pride and has been an uplifting voice promoting self-love to all shades of color. His latest single, “Black Is Gold,” takes D’Angelo’s classic “Lady” and flips the sample into an ode to black women and the beauty of being black. In a world where Michelle Obama was an astounding light of grace and inspiration, I think the nation should hear such a message. Black women—women, in general—have been the backbone of this nation, and they deserve to have a moment of acknowledgment knowing how rarely they get their just desserts.
On his second album, Yasiin Bey begins with, “The Boogie Man Song.” He sings, “I am the most beautiful boogie man, let me be your favorite nightmare,” a contradiction that speaks a very ugly truth—black art is celebrated, but black people are still feared in this country. Race relations are still a huge problem in this country, no matter how impactful black culture may be, and until this is confronted head on we will still struggle with the biggest elephant in the room.