Please Stop the Music: Rihanna Sends Cease and Desist to Trump

STFU | Utsah Pandey

Rihanna, singer of bangin’ hits such as “Umbrella” and “S&M” (to name just a few), has told Trump to STFU when it comes to her music. This past weekend she found out through the Twitterverse that the Annoying Orange was playing “Don’t Stop the Music” at a rally in Tennessee, and homegirl tried to put a stop to it this week via a cease and desist letter from her people to his people.

Usually, these letters are more of a formality to say that an artist does not approve of their music being used in a particular setting. However, the music usually keeps being used anyway because few ever take their displeasure to court. Additionally, many artists do not own the rights to their music, so the matter is often out of their hands.

But not for Rihanna. Broadcast Music Inc., the company that handles the publishing rights to her music, sent the letter. This means that Trump cannot legally play her music at any events associated with him. And isn’t that just beautiful? Rihanna, whose legal name is Robyn Fenty, was born in Barbados, an island in the Caribbean. Being an immigrant herself, it’s not hard to imagine why she wouldn’t want her music played anywhere near Trump.

Let’s play pretend for a minute: imagine Trump, walking onto his stage at one of those rallies, in complete silence. There was no music to pump up the crowd, and his footfalls echo. It’s sad, like everything else about him. There is no Rihanna, Pharrell, or anyone else for that matter because everyone fucking hates him and does not want their music played for him. Everyone is crying because they now have a hole in their lives that “Don’t Stop the Music” once filled. Trump loses the next election – or better yet, he gets impeached not because of collusion with Russia, but because he is such a miserable human being that music swerves at the mere mention of him.

All of the fantasy aside, that would be amazing. Kudos to Rihanna, for backing up her words with actions. I may not know much about how legalities work when it comes to publishing music, but I can still wish that more artists would do what Ms. Fenty did and get their music nixed from Trump rallies. Pharrell Williams, Prince’s estate, Guns ‘N Roses, and the Rolling Stones all have either sent letters or asked Trump to cease playing their music at his events. Artists can make that list longer – because in times of strife, people turn to the arts, and music is no exception.

Sure, it may seem like a minor inconvenience to Trump’s people, but damn, can you imagine being so vilified that people don’t even want you to hear their songs? That’s the kind of shit we need to get behind – because all of these minor setbacks for Trump, even those that seem innocuous and unrelated to his campaign, can add up. So, let’s inform our favorite singers and bands that their music is being played at white supremacist bullshit rallies, and pressure them to shut that shit down.