After naming their upcoming EP after a quote from President Trump's eldest daughter, post-punk band Gang of Four released an Ivanka Trump song on Tuesday. Titled "Ivanka (Things You Can't Have)," the song focuses on Ivanka's role in enabling her father's presidency, and directly quotes her notorious claim in 2017 that "I don't know what it means to be complicit."
"Where once were her eyes, Ivanka now sees through pearls" is the first lyric of the song, and it only gets more critical from there. The nearly-five-minute-long track was released on Spotify, and alternates between speaking in Ivanka's voice ("I saw how hard daddy worked for his money/Daddy loves women and he believes in family") and talking about her in the third person ("She said, ‘I don’t know what it means to be complicit'"). The song is difficult to classify genre-wise, but has clear industrial, electro, and punk influences.
Ivanka did indeed say that in April 2017, when CBS This Morning host Gayle King asked her to respond to claims that she was "complicit in what is happening in the White House."
"If being complicit is wanting to — is wanting to be a force for good, and wanting to make a positive impact, then I'm complicit," Ivanka said. "I don't what it means to be, um, complicit."
"Complicit" means "helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way," according to Merriam-Webster, which tweeted at the time that "complicit" became the most searched for word on the dictionary's website after Ivanka said she didn't know what it meant.
The concept of complicity was applied to Ivanka largely due to the widespread perception that she, along with her husband Jared Kushner, doesn't actually support the president's conservative policies. This belief, supported by the fact that Ivanka and Kushner have donated over $100,000 to Democrats in the past, led some to speculate that she might push her father to the left on key issues like climate change and LGBTQ rights. This did not happen, however, and as a result, many have accused Ivanka — who is officially an adviser to the president — of being complicit in her father's agenda.
Andy Gill, a guitarist and vocalist for Gang of Four, explained the song in a statement:
It would’ve been easy to be extremely damning about Donald Trump and of course, like everyone else, I could have called him all kinds of names. What drew me to this subject at all was the running commentary from Ivanka in the earlier stages of this administration—it was fascinating to get a kind of explanation or justification from the daughter who had already been given an official position within the White House. And frankly, a lot of it was pretty funny. But although the characters in the Trump family are interesting, it’s more the ideologies and politics which they represent and enable which need describing.
The song also includes the lyrics "In the morning daddy wants me in his room, it’s where we get together/It's not true that daddy calls my name in stormy weather." That's most likely a reference to adult film star Stormy Daniels' claim that Donald told her she reminded him of Ivanka before they allegedly had sex in 2006. Donald's lawyer Michael Cohen says that the president denies having had sex with Daniels, though the president hasn't publicly addressed the allegation.
It's probably worth noting that Gang of Four, which has been around since the 1970s, named itself after a group of Chinese Communists, which may explain why the band takes issue with the president's right-wing policies. In 1980, Rolling Stone said that Gang of Four was "probably the best politically motivated band in rock & roll."
Gang of Four previously announced that their upcoming EP, on which "Ivanka (Things You Can't Have) appears, will be called "Complicit." It also features Ivanka on the cover, smiling in front of two American flags.