On Oct. 12, at the intersection of Westerly Terrace and Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake, the latest provocation against the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency was unveiled: It's a red, white and blue billboard inscribed, “Donald Trump Makes Me Wanna Smoke Crack.” The words happen to be the title of the first track from the debut album of
“It's this guy Jordan Bromley who I've never met,” says
MTV made Beck want to smoke crack in the 1990s, and Ledinsky acknowledges the Beck song was in the back of his head when he wrote his. He says the title was not intended to make light of addiction; rather, it speaks to the sense of desperation he feels about the possibility of a Trump presidency. “The subject matter is so intense, so I wanted to make something masquerading as something fun. I don't want anyone to smoke crack. That's the last thing I'd want anyone to do,” he says.
Unexpectedly, “DonaldTrumpMakesMeWannaSmokeCrack” (unlike the billboard, the track title does not use spaces between the words) landed at No. 1 on the United States Viral 50 on Spotify. And while it was streamed more than 5 million times in two weeks,
Ledinsky's manager, Erik Eger, says that while in New York he saw the chairman of Atlantic Records Group, Julie Greenwald, wearing a promotional T-shirt for the song.
Bromley declined to speak with L.A. Weekly for this story, but Eger says Bromley regularly rents the same billboard on Sunset and that he ordinarily uses it to display positive messages. (The street-view option on Google Maps shows that in July of last year, the billboard's message was “I Like You Very Much.”)
The story behind the Trump billboard is this: Atlantic Records made buttons promoting
California hasn't been up for grabs in a national election since Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, and it's certainly no battleground state today. Hillary Clinton has a 99.9 percent likelihood of defeating Trump and carrying the Golden State's 55 electoral votes in the November election, according to the most recent survey by FiveThirtyEight. But the wide margin of victory hasn't discouraged provocateurs of Silver Lake, Hollywood and Los Feliz.
In July, Plastic Jesus built a wall around Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In August, Indecline displayed a nude, nearly dickless statue of the Donald outside Wacko on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz.
“Robert De Niro is angry — where are the other 400,000 artists and creatives who should be doing everything to make it a 0 percent chance of this guy being in charge of 1,500 nukes?”