Amid all the chatter Thursday night about Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon’s sycophantic interview of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, critics missed the night’s real heroes: the Roots.
The legendary neo-soul band played Trump on to the tune of Erykah Badu’s “20 Feet Tall,” singing the portion of the song with the lyrics, “Then you, you built a wall / A 20-foot wall so I couldn't see / If I get off my knees…” The next line would have continued, “I might recall I'm 20 feet tall.”
The lyrics are perfect to use against Trump, who infamously said that he would construct a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico, and make the latter nation pay for it. This song could become an anthem of defiance to Trump’s xenophobic agenda.
The Roots' use of “20 Feet Tall” is not the first time the band has used music to express a political opinion. When Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann appeared on the show, the Roots noisily covered Fishbone’s “Lyin’ Ass Bitch.” Lead singer Questlove was reportedly reprimanded for playing the song. NBC and Fallon himself went so far as to apologize to Bachmann after the incident.
Fallon’s Trump interview came under fire from the media after he was seen tousling the bombastic businessman’s notorious hairdo and palling around with the candidate, who has built his campaign on divisive language.
In response, Fallon defended himself, saying he’s an entertainer, not a journalist. But others of his late-night cohort have publicly disinvited Trump from appearing on their shows. This is NBC’s second media controversy regarding hosts going soft on Trump, following Matt Lauer’s much-criticized job hosting the recent Commander-in-Chief Forum. Fortunately, the Roots are on the NBC lot to show a little backbone.
Check out the Fallon video below, and let us know in the comments whether you think Fallon was just doing his job or that he sold out.