Last year, having already written a deeply underappreciated spoof of “No More Parties In L.A.” in which Ted Cruz and John Kasich argue that they could still beat Donald Trump for the Republican nomination if they just had one more G.O.P. debate, I made the in hindsight thoroughly ill-advised decision to parody the rest of Kanye West’s 2016 album, The Life of Pablo, but make it about Republicans. Thus, The Life of Ronald was born.
It was a work of folly. Adapting just the lyrics, without the resources to actually create full parodies of the songs, was silly (though if you have the means and the desire to actually put these lyrics to music, let me know). Plus, the events referenced in TLoR span almost two years of campaigning and politicking, making it hard to understand the chronology and events being referenced. The end result is there’s at least one, months-old, TLoR song that literally nobody but me has ever clicked on. Nevertheless, for some reason that now escapes me, I persisted, and eventually I’d spoofed enough of the album that I pretty much had to finish it off.
Below, you’ll find the fruit of that misplaced labor. All 20 songs from The Life of Pablo, but about Republicans now. For your convenience, I offer them in two forms: the first, listed in the same order as their analogues appear on TLoP; the second, listed chronologically and with contextualizing notes. This is…
THE LIFE OF RONALD
2. Time to Stretch the Truth Pt. 1
3. Pt. 2
5. No Feedback
6. “Low Lights”, But The Setting Is A Donald Trump Campaign Rally, Hoo Boy
12. Real Creds
13. Lose (Wolves)
15. Staaaaaaaaaay on Messsssaaaaaaaaage Intermission
16. 7 Years
18. Facts (They Didn’t Matter Version)
20. Saint Ronald
THE LIFE OF RONALD: WITH NOTES
Ultraright Wing: The greatest figures of the far right, from Rush Limbaugh to Sarah Palin, from Alex Jones to Ann Coulter, lament the liberal takeover of America and declare their support for Donald Trump.
Famous (GOP Primaries Mix): Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, and other high-ranking members of the Republican Party dismiss concerns about Trump’s early lead in the Republican primary race, saying that he’s only up because of name recognition.
One More G.O.P. Debate: Ted Cruz and John Kasich argue that they could still win the Republican nomination if they just had one more debate.
Time To Stretch The Truth Pt. 1: The Republican brass laments that Donald Trump’s nomination has put them in a bind, but Trump doesn’t seem all that concerned.
Pt. 2: Realizing that getting the White House back is the most important thing, the brass decides to put aside their qualms about their nominee.
Soundbites: Donald Trump and Mike Pence lament how the mainstream media turns their words against them.
Staaaaaaaaaay on Messsssaaaaaaaaage Intermission: Reince Priebus calls Donald Trump, asking him to… well, it’s in the song title.
I Love Donald: An unnamed GOP Congressman reaffirms his loyalty to Trump, while veteran columnist Bill Kristol announces his dissatisfaction with the GOP.
Lose / Frank (Luntz)’s Track: The GOP brass laments the seeming inevitability of Trump’s defeat to Hillary Clinton.
“Low Lights”, But The Setting Is A Trump Campaign Rally, Hoo Boy: In the one entirely spoken piece on this album, Donald Trump breaks down and reveals what truly motivates him.
Facts (They Didn’t Matter Version): President-elect Donald Trump celebrates his victory over Hillary Clinton, as well his own greatness.
Free Reign 4 (Years): Donald Trump exults in the newfound delights of the White House.
Raves: Encouraged by his spokespeople, President Trump vents on Twitter about the judicial response to his travel ban.
Real Creds: President Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner admit they may not be qualified for their new jobs.
7 Years: Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell lament that seven years’ efforts to repeal Obamacare have come to nought, again.
FOLs: The newly-unemployed Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon lament their situation and the cockblocking-obsessed man who put them there.
Fake: Trump, joined by a chorus of right-wingers, lashes out against fake news.
Saint Ronald: President Trump, in the present moment, contemplates his legacy.