The Trump Files: Donald Weighs In on a Rapper He’s Never Heard Of

He lavished praise on the rapper Pras, then admitted he’d never heard of him.

Mother Jones Illustration/Shuttershock

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This post was originally published as part of “The Trump Files“—a collection of telling episodes, strange but true stories, and curious scenes from the life of our current president—on September 13, 2016.

Donald Trump doesn’t listen to hip-hop. “The problem is my life is so wild I just don’t have time,” he told Vibe in 1999. But that didn’t stop him from making cameos on two hip-hop albums in the 1990s: Method Man’s Tical 2000: Judgment Day, and Pras’ 1998 classic Ghetto Supastar.

Trump’s appearances on both albums were limited to short voicemail messages that play during interludes.

“Hey Method Man, this is Donald Trump and I’m in Palm Beach and we’re all waiting for your album,” he said on Tical 2000. “Let’s get going, man, everybody’s waiting for this album!”

On Pras’ album, the singer’s first solo effort after the Fugees broke up, he lavished praise and made a bold prediction. “Hi, this is Donald Trump and I have no doubt that you’re going to be a big success,” he said. “Now after knowing you, I know that you’re going to be right up there, and I hope very soon you’re going to be in the leagues with me. So good luck.”

Trump’s prediction was off. While fellow ex-Fugees Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean went on to big things, it would be seven years before Pras released a second album, the disappointing Win Lose or Draw. Trump confessed to Vibe afterward that he had never listened to Ghetto Supastar and had no idea who Pras was.

Pras, for his part, appears to have soured on Trump. In May, he told the TV network Showtime that its “corporate bullying” was responsible for Trump’s lead in the polls:

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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