Hillary Clinton has struggled to resonate in pop culture during the digital age, whereas the most Vinable, GIFable candidate — Donald Trump — has managed to break through.
This is why the endorsement of “the Beyoncé of first ladies,” Michelle Obama, has been crucial for Clinton, according to pop star Lizzo.
“Having (Michelle Obama’s) endorsement is really special. Especially right now, where the only thing that matters is … a good six-second click,” the singer and rapper, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, told CNN. “And Michelle, being as sticky as she has been to pop culture, she’s done an amazing job of it, and that just adds to Hillary’s swag bank.”
The 28-year-old artist told CNN that for better or worse, Trump, a former reality star and entertainer, has managed to claim a place in American pop culture, whereas the Democratic presidential nominee, who is far more reserved and rehearsed, “is not sticking culturally.”
“The digital age doesn’t help. Trending moments are way more important than what you believe in or how capable you are,” said Lizzo, who stars in MTV’s newest show, “Wonderland.”
Lizzo pointed to social media trends — from memes to Spotify streams of Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” skyrocketing following Trump’s “nasty woman” debate dig — all of which have been dominated by the Republican presidential nominee.
“I’m not seeing anything Hillary. She’s not sticking culturally, and I think that it’s unfortunate,” Lizzo continued, but “(Clinton) can’t help that we all want to laugh at the next meme and Donald Trump is giving America that.”
And in a meme-filled, trend-based social media world, Obama has also managed to resonate, Lizzo said.
The first lady’s takedowns of Trump have gone viral on social media and the Clinton campaign, which recognized Obama’s star power on the trail, has leaned on her to campaign in battleground states like North Carolina.
Lizzo first heard Obama speak at the University of Houston during the 2008 election and she said she was “sold” right away.
“I think that a bar has been raised by Michelle Obama for what we expect out of (our first lady),” Lizzo said. “She’s like the Beyoncé of first ladies … If people don’t like (President) Obama, they love Michelle.”
Even though the “Good As Hell” singer believes that voting is “choosing which mouthpiece” you would rather hear good or bad news for the next four years, she said that she plans on backing Clinton over Trump.
“I would much rather, a million times, have Hillary tell me what’s going on,” she said.
Lizzo released her newest EP, “Coconut Oil,” last month, which addresses “self care” and female empowerment.
She said that even though this is her most personal and least political album yet, her existence as a black woman in the music industry is political in itself.
“I realized that it’s because I am who I am that makes these songs political,” Lizzo said. “You get a skinny white girl singing “Coconut Oil” … and it’s one thing. I sing it, and it’s this whole other thing.”