By Robyn Collins
In an open letter posted on Mass Appeal on Tuesday (May 30) entitled “Action Speaks Louder Than Words,” rapper Nas (real name Nasir Jones) called President Trump a racist and added that he doesn’t care about politics, but if he votes in the next election, he knows who he’ll vote against.
In the 1,000-word, essay Nas says that American politics doesn’t apply to African Americans and the best approach to avoid going “insane” is to ignore what’s happening in Washington.
“The only way the black man gets a little piece in America is if he takes the O.J. stance: ‘I’m not black, I’m O.J,'” he writes. “When you ignore the s— that’s happening to people you can live in this fantasy, this American fantasy that you belong to… who? You ignore what’s happening, and that gives you peace. Because what’s going on is enough to make people insane.”
Nas doubled down by calling Trump a racist. “We all know a racist is in office. People can talk their s—. Comedians can sound racist. People can go through their moments of that s—, but when you have the responsibility of being President and you carry on like that, you send a strong message to people outside of your group that they ain’t worth s—.”
The Queens rapper explains he will make sure his voice is heard through the music he makes. “My way of addressing these issues is through my work,” he wrote. “Whatever president may be in office doesn’t affect my work directly. The way he affects people is what affects me. I observe what’s going on and that goes into my creative process… The person himself, I’m not caught up with. I don’t even have time for Trump or Pence. I don’t give a f—.”
“My focus is on what’s happening with real people in their everyday lives,” he continued. “How they behave, the decisions they make, and how that affects families. I grew up in a single-parent household, so I was affected by that life. But it didn’t stop me. So I speak to the everyday people. I speak to everybody. If the people are bothered by it, I speak on it. If the people are bothered and want change, I speak on that.”
The rapper added that art will continue to thrive no matter who’s in the White House. “I live in that—I live in those walls, I live in those wires, I live in those pencils and papers, and that sound,” he says. “I’m not caught up in politics… I move through action. My music is action. What I’m giving you through my music is my actions.”