It may have not been the first time that a rapper who publicly toured with a purveyor of antisemitic conspiracy theories had a number one hit on iTunes.
But it probably was the first time the rapper rapping about yarmulkes wears one.
Yes, Ben Shapiro, who accompanied Elon Musk on a trip to Auschwitz last month as part of an antisemitism apology tour by the owner of X and Tesla, has a rap record, created with professional rapper and former professional wrestler Tom MacDonald.
“Facts” — its title may be an allusion to a 2015 cut of that name by Kanye West — features lines like “Let’s look at the stats, I’ve got the facts/ My money like Lizzo, my pockets are fat / Homie, I’m epic, don’t be a WAP / Dawg, it’s a yarmulke, homie, no cap.”
While certain to please Shapiro’s fans, the track is unlikely to disabuse anyone of the notion — notably and loudly propagated by Shapiro himself a couple years back — that rap isn’t music. But then, the rhymes don’t measure up to even Kanye’s throwaway lines like “I stuck to my roots, I’m like Jimmy Fallon/ I ain’t dropped the album but the shoes went platinum.”
(We’re not going to explore the meaning and exegesis of WAP in a family newspaper, but it’s worth noting that Shapiro’s 2020 criticism of Cardi B’s song, “WAP,” led reasonable observers to conclude that Shapiro, who identifies as an Orthodox Jew, fails to fulfill his husbandly talmudic obligations.)
Unfortunately for Shapiro’s new legion of rap fans, it seems the dream is over: On Monday he posted on Musk’s social media site that he is “retiring from rap to spend more time with my family.”
In this, he echoes the short attention span of Musk, whose commitment to fighting antisemitism didn’t last long. One week after declaring at a conference on antisemitism organized by the European Jewish Association that “In the circles that I move, I see almost no antisemitism,” Musk began following and retweeting an account known as “Unlimited L’s,” which frequently posts antisemitic conspiracy theories, Hitler quotes, and Holocaust denial — that is, someone who well embodies the ethos preached by Shapiro on his track “Facts”: “I don’t care if I offend you / I was put here to upset you.”