An Emerson student’s ode to Trump is a surprise hit

He’s trying to make independent music great again.

“I been Trumpified / Donald Trump’s gon’ make countries bow before our eyes / I been Trumpified / The Art the Deal, please have no fear, Trump’s arrived.’’

Those are the opening lyrics to the song “Trumpified.’’ Emerson College senior Scott Isbell wrote and recorded the single, which is the week’s fifth-most-played song in the world on Soundcloud’s global chart.

Peek the streaming site’s top 50 most popular songs, and there’s Isbell’s single. It’s in good company: Tracks from hit-makers like Kanye-backed rapper Travis Scott and summer anthem extraordinaire Fetty Wap hold spots on this chart, as well. As of publication, this week, Isbell’s song has had 2.57 million plays; a Chris Brown remix that features Usher and Zayn Malik has 1.88 million.


A Spin profile of Isbell suggested that “Trumpified’’ achieved such a high play count from phony bots purchased to up its numbers, but Isbell’s manager, Jimmy Kang of Wu-Tang Entertainment, denies this.

Isbell said other artists’ songs might be about love or drugs, but his capitalizes on the public obsession with the tycoon who was firing people on television while Isbell was going through puberty.

“I wrote a song because I saw a lane in music where nobody was really writing about politics,’’ Isbell said.

The accuracy of these statements is dubious; there is, of course, a wealth of recent music with overt or subtle political references —Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy-winning “To Pimp a Butterfly’’ or the recent J. Cole single “No Role Modelz’’ just to name two. But no songs come to mind that are as politically pro-Trump as Isbell’s. “Trumpified’’ is a state of mind, a single word to represent the clear truth of this election: Everyone’s talking about Trump.

“I feel this country has become ‘Trumpfied,’’’ Isbell said. “I know Donald Trump comes across all of our minds every single day. At this point, he’s on the mind of the world. He was in a feud with the Pope. He’s created a buzz and a narrative better than anyone I’ve ever seen.’’


Isbell studies marketing communication, specializing in public relations and social media, and read Trump’s quasi-memoir, The Art of the Deal, in June 2015. After that, he was inspired to write the song.

But this exposure has come with vitriol that Isbell, who has a large fan base online, said he didn’t see coming. He has found new fans in voters and other students who are similarly supportive of Trump, but he’s also been plagued by hackers.

“In the article can you pls write about that hours after we talked my accounts were hacked by a donald trump protestor in the uk. This is an act of terror at its worst,’’ Isbell wrote in a message to following his interview.

Courtesy / Scott Isbell

Though the success of “Trumpified’’ has far exceeded his expectations of its potential popularity, Isbell said he’s done writing about politics. Instead, he’s focusing on an upcoming EP. “I been Trumpified/Donald Trump’s gon’ make countries bow before our eyes.’’ It’s not satire, it’s not irony, and the Acton native really does believe this. He said he plans to cast his vote for Donald Trump.

Listen to “Trumpified’’ here:

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