Rapper and Chicago native Sir the Baptist told CNN Sunday that Donald Trump is “way out of touch” with the African American community after Trump linked the death of NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin Nykea Aldridge to the black vote.
Ahead of his performance at the Afro Punk festival in Brooklyn on Sunday, Sir performed a skit opposite “Nightly Show” Donald Trump impersonator Bob DiBuono, where he interrupted the fake Trump as he made his pitch to black voters and confronted him for exploiting the African American community.
The skit ends with Sir grabbing the mic from Trump and beginning a soulful performance of “Creflo (Almighty Dollar).”
“No one politician can relieve centuries of systemic racism and bigotry due to enslavement. It’s time for us to ask the tough questions of Trump; to hold him accountable,” Sir told CNN. “He has no problem teasing us with promises of jobs and wealth on one hand while exploiting the community in the other, thinking it will deliver him our vote. He is the problem.”
Aldridge was a mother of four and was not the intended target. Her mother, Diann, broke down during an an interview with CNN and shared that she also lost her her eldest daughter ten years ago to gun violence.
“Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” Trump tweeted, pledging later to fix inner city problems. An hour later Trump offered his condolences.
Chicago rapper Rhymefest echoed Sir’s concerns in an interview with CNN Monday and invited Trump to Chicago to witness the situation firsthand.
Sir, who’s legal name is James Stokes, was born in the Chicago neighborhood of Bronzeville, and prior to news of the Aldrige shooting, he shared a similar story with CNN about a friend who recently witnessed a drive-by shooting while walking with her baby.
Trump is set to make a direct appeal to black voters in a speech in Detroit, Michigan this weekend.
Sir told CNN that the billionaire mogul’s proposed solution of putting more cops on the streets to restore “law and order” ignores the fact that the system is plagued by institutionalized racism and “there’s no sense of trust” between black communities and the police.
“My dad was a preacher, my mom a missionary and I was very wholesome,” Sir said, “But I’m telling you ’til this day, if I drive by to this lot that I’m in right now I’m going to be afraid that if I get pulled over, I might not make it home.”
Sir grew up in the church and while he remains deeply spiritual, he finds it difficult to reconcile his experiences with his religion because just like politics, “religion can leave some people behind.”
“My brother is gay and growing up I know firsthand when those sermons come across the pulpit that rebukes him, he almost feel like the person don’t love him that made him,” Sir said, adding that “Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world.”
His upcoming album, “Preacher’s Kid,” chronicles Sir’s own journey of finding a balance between religion and life.
“Mama say she gonna lose me/ She pray the angles out on duty/ Preacher can’t even rebuke me/ Born a sinner and I’m bout to sin again tonight,” Sir raps in the single “Raise Hell.” “You gonna have to forgive me/ Imma raise hell until I reach Heaven’s door.”
The album cover is a portrait of Sir with a halo over his head and a piece of black tape covering his mouth.
“As a preachers’ kid, growing up you’re just told to be an angel — Be a good boy, be a good girl, do the right things,” Sir said. “But you see and experience so many different things … If you let that preacher’s kid talk you might want to put the tape over his mouth.”