Early on Wednesday morning, President Trump joined the fray — but in the video he tweeted, it wasn’t “Despacito” playing from Biden’s phone. It was N.W.A’s notorious 1988 single “F— tha Police.”
The Biden video shared by Trump, which had been viewed nearly 2 million times by early Wednesday morning, was later slapped with a “manipulated media” tag from the social media company.
The real clip comes from Biden’s visit to Kissimmee, Fla., on Tuesday, at an event aimed at Puerto Rican voters in the key swing state. After introductions by Latin music stars Ricky Martin and Fonsi, Biden said, “I have just one thing to say,” before holding a phone blaring “Despacito” to the microphone.
In the 27-second clip, Biden appears to nod along to the words of the incendiary protest song, including the opening verse by Ice Cube that includes an uncensored use of the n-word and the line “police think they have the authority to kill a minority.”
The song has long been a political flash point. When it was released by the hip-hop group in 1988, it was banned from radio stations, protested heavily by police departments and unions, and led the FBI to write a stern letter to the group’s record label. One state attorney general threatened criminal charges against record stores selling it, the Daily Beast reported.
On streaming services, the song has seen a resurgence this year — not surprisingly, N.W.A members said, since they wrote the song to protest many of the issues still driving mass demonstrations this summer against police brutality and racial inequality.
“What you hear on the record is all the frustration, all the times getting harassed, getting pulled over for no reason at all, getting disrespected, having them try to disrespect your parents all because of your skin color,” N.W.A member MC Ren told Rolling Stone in June. “All of that builds up and you make a record.”