In the road toward the 2016 election, YG and Nipsey Hussle had the viral dis track, “FDT,” or “Fuck Donald Trump.” Now, with less than a month before Election Day 2020 and early voting already underway, pop superstar Demi Lovato has released her own protest song, “Commander in Chief.” And like the rappers before her, she doesn’t mince words.
In the somber new track, which surprise-dropped Tuesday evening (October 13), Lovato takes aim at the president, referencing his response to the coronavirus pandemic, the fires that have ravaged the West Coast, and racial injustice in the United States. “Commander in Chief, honestly / If I did the things you do, I couldn’t sleep,” she sings on the refrain. “Seriously, do you even know the truth? / We’re in a state of crisis, people are dying / While you line your pockets deep / Commander in Chief / How does it feel to still be able to breathe?”
Speaking with CNN, Lovato explained the importance of using her platform to shed light on political issues. “There’s been so many times that I’ve wanted to write the President a letter or sit down with him and ask him these questions,” Lovato said. “And then I thought, I don’t really actually want to do that and I thought one way that I could do that is writing a song and releasing it for the whole world to hear and then he has to answer those questions to everyone and not just me.”
Writing in response to a fan who suggested incorporating her politics might isolate some fans, the “Cool for the Summer” singer explained that she understood the potential career risks associated with speaking up. “This is my response to anyone who wants to silence me,” she wrote in an Instagram Story.
“You do understand as a celebrity I have a right to political views as well?” she added, in a comment that was shared as an Instagram Story. “Or did you forget that we aren’t just around to entertain people for our entire lives…that we are citizens of the same country and we are humans with opinions as well? The difference between me and the type of artist you WANT and EXPECT me to be (but I’m sorry honey that will never BE me 😂) I literally don’t care if this ruins my career. This isn’t about that. My career isn’t about that. I made a piece of art that stands for something I believe in. And I’m putting it out even at the risk of losing fans. I’ll take integrity in my work over sales any day. As mochas I would like to be sad that I disappointed you, I’m too busy being bummed that you expect me, a queer Hispanic woman, to silence my views/beliefs in order to please my audience i.e. your family. 🙁”
The corresponding music video for “Commander in Chief” is slated for release Wednesday (October 14) at 8 p.m. PT, or 11 p.m. ET.