Ivanka Trump received a truckload of derision when the president’s daughter announced in an October 2017 book she had gone through a “punk phase in the nineties.” The idea of a billionaire heiress embracing a musical genre celebrating anti-authoritarianism and outsiders sparked disbelief and head-scratching.
But this week Trump definitely earned some punk rock attention, if not as a fan then as the target of an iconic punk band.
Gang of Four, the British four-piece who changed the direction of post-punk rock with their razor wire guitars and funky bass lines in the 1980s, announced this week they’ll be releasing a new EP on April 20. It’s the band’s first new music since 2015. The mini-album is titled “Complicit,” Pitchfork reports.
If the title alone is not a clear indication Gang of Four are commenting on the current state of American politics, the cover art leaves little question: a picture of Ivanka Trump standing before American flags.
“When we think of ‘the media,’ everyone has lots of ideas about what we mean,” the band’s frontman Andy Gill said in a statement to Pitchfork.
“It could be social media, where hundreds of memes crisscross the world; informing, misinforming, beginning or reinforcing ideas that may last a lifetime and beyond,” he said. “Ideas about Jews, Muslims, or, say, the World Trade Center or perhaps, the criminality of certain American politicians. And then there is the receding traditional media with disappearing jobs like ‘journalists’ and ‘fact checkers.’ That’s the media the Trump family despise.”
The second song on the EP also draws inspiration from the White House: “Ivanka (Things You Can’t Have).”
The lead track from the album, called “Lucky” has already been released. In line with Gang of Four’s long tradition of blasting capitalistic society, the lyrics were inspired by the stock market.
“I’d been watching a serious debate on one of those financial news channels — six white men in suits arguing about the stock markets — and it set me thinking about how limited luck can be,” Gill said in a statement to Consequence of Sound.
Last April, CBS’s Gayle King, asked Trump whether she and her husband, Jared Kushner, were “complicit in what is happening to the White House.”
“If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit,” Trump responded. “I don’t know what it means to be — complicit — but — but, you know, I hope time will prove that I have — done a good job and much more importantly, that my father’s administration is the success that I know it will be.”
The response was widely mocked. “Saturday Night Live” aired a clip featuring Scarlett Johansson as Ivanka Trump pitching an elegant new fragrance: Complicit.
According to Merriam-Webster, the dictionary — which defines the word as “helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way” — saw visits online for “complicit” spike 11,000 percent after Trump’s CBS sit-down.
The word itself then became a shorthand for talking about normalizing the president’s policies and behaviors. “I will not be complicit,” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a Trump critic, said on the floor of the Senate last October.
Because of the uptick in traffic, Dictionary.com crowned “complicit” the word of the year for 2017.
“The word ‘complicit’ has sprung up in conversations this year about those who speak out against powerful figures and institutions and about those who stay silent,” the website said in an announcement, USA Today reported.
More from Morning Mix: