Lil Wayne, Latest Rapper in Trump’s Orbit, Sees Backlash Over Photo

“Oh no,” 50 Cent wrote on Thursday evening. “I WOULD HAVE NEVER TOOK THIS PICTURE.”

Ice Cube, a founding member of N.W.A, who released a song called “Arrest the President” as recently as 2018, faced similar scrutiny after it was announced this month that he had consulted with the Trump administration on the Platinum Plan. He said later that he hoped to work with both sides, and was not endorsing Mr. Trump, adding, “I don’t trust none of them.”

“Black progress is a bipartisan issue,” Ice Cube said. “I will advise anybody on the planet who has the power to help Black Americans close the enormous wealth gap.”

Trump has called himself the best president for Black Americans since Abraham Lincoln, despite a questionable record on race, including his pronouncement that there were “very fine people on both sides” after white supremacists rioted in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. His campaign has said that it hoped to slightly improve on its performance with Black voters in 2016, when Mr. Trump earned about 8 percent of the Black vote. Of course, plenty of rappers have endorsed Mr. Biden, including Cardi B, Offset and Snoop Dogg, while others, like Waka Flocka Flame and Lil Pump, who is of Mexican and Cuban descent, have signaled an openness to supporting the president.

In an interview, the writer, filmmaker and activist Dream Hampton called it “the hubris of the celebrity” for rappers to “kind of saunter in during the fourth quarter, talking about making demands.” She noted that while Black men will still overwhelmingly vote for Democrats — Mr. Biden leads 78-11 among Black men, according to a recent Times/Siena poll — a macho affinity for President Trump and the allure of economic success could explain his inroads with a certain segment of the hip-hop community.

“It’s the same reason they were referencing him in the ’90s — it’s about the lie of the American dream,” she said. “It’s about the lie of Black entrepreneurship somehow being a panacea to these larger social problems. Hip-hop became a stand-in for that, lifting up individual Black accomplishment.”

“There are real reasons to criticize Joe Biden, even in this 11th hour,” Ms. Hampton added. “But we” — Black activists and organizers — “were already doing that.”

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