Yesterday the Observer revealed that East Village fixture Jimmy McMillan, who rose to fame in 2010 as a gubernatorial candidate with the slogan “The Rent Is Too Damn High,” is back in the game, this time as a City Council candidate. Somehow the item failed to mention that McMillan is also a (self-)recording artist. We’ve delighted in his smooth jams before, but his latest track, “SLAVES: The Rent Is Too Damn High,” takes a more serious turn.
The song, set to disturbing historical images of slavery, starts in a sort of “Hotel California”/flamenco vain, and then transitions into a Rocky-style battle anthem tinged with anger and lament. McMillan explains that he wrote the song “to help you understand why they’re raising the rent… and why they’re raising the cost of living– someone don’t want you here.” He traces the city’s outlandish rents back to slavery: “The Founding Fathers never wrote the Constitution for my people / We were slaves that were never supposed to have been set free.” In the video description, he also mentions “the undoing of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
Leave Trump alone. America needs this.
— JIMMY McMILLAN (@Rentisto) January 26, 2017
McMillan is a Trump supporter, as you can see from the Tweet above– maybe he should pass this along to Ben Carson?
Then again, McMillan has made controversial remarks of his own, and in 2010 defended himself by telling the Daily News that “Jews were slave masters. They enslaved my people. You can’t call me anti-Semitic.” He further addresses accusations of anti-semitism in an interview with Daily Wire, in which he also reveals that he’s running for City Council in part because of his epic eviction battle with his East Village landlord.