Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessean and MAGA Rapper Bryson Gray in studio to discuss the evolving conservative rap movement.
Leahy: In studio with us the original all-star panelist, Crom Carmichael. Shakanna is with us, as is Bryson Gray, the conservative rapper who’s had the number one iTunes hit, the number one Billboard hit. Let’s Go Brandon.
Bryson, you’ve told me about something. I keep learning things every time you come in and I’m taking notes. And I’m trying to discover more about what’s going on out in the world because I didn’t know this.
There is apparently a growing movement of conservative rappers, of which you are the Godfather. Tell me, how big is this and what is the impact and what are their attitudes?
Gray: I think now it’s probably like 30-40 rappers within it now. It started blowing up after I did the MAGA Challenge. I don’t know if anybody remembers the MAGA Challenge.
Leahy: Tell us what the MAGA Challenge was. When did you do that? And what was it about?
Gray: Late 2019. I did the MAGA Challenge, where I basically made a song and left the open space for other patriots to rap to show how you support the country and the president.
Leahy: Oh. You really are a rapper.
Carmichael: When was that?
Gray: Late 2019. Donald Trump retweeted Jimmy Kimmel talked about it.
Leahy: Bryson, you’re really a rapper and almost like a community activist. (Gray laughs)
Carmichael: Now, how did Jimmy Kimmel when he talked about it, what did he say?
Gray: Of course he hated it. He was basically trying to make fun of it. Not me. Because it was for people to have fun. You didn’t necessarily have to be the best rapper to have fun. So he showed clips of all the ones where it’s like, people just having fun.
Not really, like, super good rappers and tried to make it seem like the only people that were doing it were older people. And it was like, thousands of people that had really good ones. He didn’t show any of those.
Leahy: Did the conservative rapper movement begin with the responses to that open MAGA Challenge?
Gray: That’s where I know a lot of artists from. Because of the MAGA Challenge, a lot of people had their, like, I guess conservative rap careers really started because of that challenge.
Leahy: Wow. And so now the attitudes towards the country, the attitudes towards current politics, the attitudes towards Donald Trump of these conservative rappers, in general, what can you tell us about them?
Gray: There are different groups and aspects of it. You have people like me and Tyson James who are conservatives, but we’re super religious.
Leahy: So Tyson James is based, where’s Tyson James based?
Leahy: Washington, D.C. or Washington state?
Gray: No, Washington state.
Leahy: So your lane is super conservative and super religious, right? And cool rappers.
Gray: And then you have to, like, Forgiato Blow.
Leahy: The guy’s name is Forgiato Blow?
Gray: A lot of people think he’s black, but he’s white with, like, tattoos on his face.
Leahy: Really? With tattoos on his face. And he’s a conservative rapper.
Gray: He’s more like just pretty much simply patriotic. They have, like, the super-religious aspect to it.
Carmichael: Can you give me some examples of some of the other rapper songs that are conservative? I’m certainly familiar with Let’s Go Brandon.
Gray: Tyson James, he had a song called Two A with me on it. That’s really popular. (Inaudible talk) Trump is Your President that’s really popular. Forgiato Blow has Four More Years with Colt Ford.
He’s a popular, legendary country singer man. Forgiato Blow got a song with him called Four More Years. Then you have a lot of the ones that curse a lot, but they’re still like patriotic.
Leahy: Patriotic cursors. (Laughter) I have a patriotic cursor.
Gray: Meeses. They have a lot of popular songs, though.
Leahy: Meeses obviously after the Von Mises Institute and the great economist, right. Is that what it is?
Gray: I don’t know. It could be.
Carmichael: That would be cool.
Leahy: We ought to look into that.
Gray: I should have asked them. We went to church together. We went to Greg Locks Church together.
Leahy: Up in Wilson County right?
Gray: He came down here and we went there over the weekend Wednesday.
Leahy: Meeses. Is that what he goes by?
Carmichael: When Obama won the presidency the first time, the Obama girl, I think, helped him a lot.
Leahy: A long time ago.
Carmichael: I don’t remember her name, but you look at her.
Leahy: She wasn’t a rapper. But social media person.
Carmichael: Social media person, she was everywhere. And it made him cool among younger people.
Leahy: Speaking of being cool.
Carmichael: By the way, later, she didn’t endorse him the second time because his first four years disappointed her.
Gray: Me too. (Laughter)
Carmichael: Do you remember Obama girl?
Leahy: Here’s the thing that we want know. How do these conservative rappers that are a growing community of rappers of which you are the Godfather, Bryson Gray, what do they think about politics? What do they think about Donald Trump? Are they engaged? We got one minute. Just wrap it up for us.
Gray: Like Meeses and Burton, who are patriots because they love this country, but they’re not really, like, overtly political. Then you’ve got people like me, Tyson James, and we’re like nerds. I’m like a nerd that raps.
Leahy: A nerd that raps. I think that’s a great way. Your new song is what?
Gray: Thanks YouTube. It’s out now.
Leahy: Because they banned you got the number one song.
Gray: Yes, of course.
Leahy: It’s a great song too since I’m a big expert on rap music, Bryson. Thanks so much for joining us. Is this fascinating?
Carmichael: It is fun or is it fun?
– – –