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‘FDT:’ YG’s Pre-Trump Presidency Anthem Becomes a Post-Trump Presidency Hit

Compton rapper YG’s “FDT” — or “Fuck Donald Trump,” a track that both predated and foretold the Trump presidency when it was first released in March 2016 — has reemerged as a hit following Joe Biden’s election, with the streams and sales of exploding since Election Day.

The Still Brazy standout, which also features late rapper Nipsey Hussle, started to see a steady increase on November 2nd before hitting a peak on Saturday when Biden was officially declared the winner. On Saturday, the song was the seventh most popular song by streams, with 2.3 million on-demand audio and video streams, a 489% increase from the day before, according to Alpha Data. The song was also the Number One song by sales, with nearly 3,200, an increase of 785% from Friday.

Overall, “FDT” saw a 600% week-on-week increase in streams from November 1st through November 7th and a 1,240% increase in sales.

When the single first arrived in March 2016, “FDT” maxed out at Number 10 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. However, as the Trump campaign snowballed toward the Republican party nomination, “FDT” became an unofficial — albeit radio-unfriendly — protest anthem that inadvertently presaged the Trump administration. The song maintained relevance throughout the many actual “FDT” moments of the Trump White House, and finally upon the election of Joe Biden, it firmly planted itself as a staple of the ensuing party playlists.

“The Secret Service started calling in about the song when it got released,” YG told Rolling Stone in September 2016, two months before that year’s Election Day; the song’s lyric “All the niggas in the hood wanna fight you/I’m surprised El Chapo ain’t tried to snipe you” especially drew the ire of the government agency.

“The song didn’t release through Def Jam; we just leaked it,” he added. “So then, weeks passed. I’m turning in my album and the song was. … It’s goin’ crazy. I saw that and I’m like, ‘Damn. I need to put this on the album.’ We had to censor damn near a big part of the song. But I did it because the record was important. I’m like, ‘Man, this shit got to be on the album. Fuck it.’”

The “FDT” music video, filmed in Los Angeles and shut down by police officers mid-shoot, has racked up more than 28 million YouTube views over the past four years, with an additional 10 million streams for the single and its many lyric videos and remixes, including a “white-boy remix” with Macklemore and G-Eazy.

“The Hispanics and the blacks, don’t none of them fuck with Trump,” YG said in 2016, a statement reinforced by the 2020 election. “Since the song’s been out for so long, everybody fuck with the song, and Trump just kept doing fucked-up, disrespectful, making-himself-look-dumb-type shit. Nobody fuck with Trump.”

 

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