From the moment it was announced that Raury’s network debut on Late Night with Stephen Colbert would coincide with an interview with GOP front-runner Donald Trump, speculation mounted about how the Indigo Child would handle the situation. Although a good many of the suggestions provided on the 19-year-old’s social media channels were delivered in jest, the consensus was clear: a statement needed to made. Raury obliged by arriving on the set wearing a Mexico soccer jersey, a not so subtle jab at Trump’s vile and dehumanizing remarks regarding Mexican immigrants. For Raury, however, that simple sign of Mexican solidarity wasn’t enough. Midway through his performance of “Devil’s Whisper” he turned his back to the audience revealing the name Trump crossed out on the back of his jersey. Again, not so subtle, but effective.
Possibly lost in the political hoopla was the fact that Raury gave a fiery performance that felt genuine and inspired. His genre-bluring folk-rap is an ideal vessel for appealing to disparate audiences and last night he once again proved that he can deliver on a big stage. Did he piss off a ton of Trumpites? Yeah, probably. But who cares? It’s not like they were going to buy into his message of hope and strength through unity, anyway. So he did what any good artist would do: he took a stand, made a statement, and played his ass off. Kudos, kid.
Raury’s major label debut, All We Need, is out October 16 on Columbia Records.