On Friday, Chrisette Michele sang at Donald Trump’s inauguration ball to the ire of absolutely everyone not associated with Trump. Michele released an MLK-quoting statement explaining that she did it to be a “bridge,” which prompted Spike Lee to drop one of her songs from his upcoming Netflix series. In the latest session of the People vs. Chrisette Michele, the singer has shared a spoken-word piece called “No Political Genius” (her brand, at this point) strongly defending herself against Spike and all who’ve opposed her decision to perform for Trump. “I am the black song Spike Lee won’t sing / I am the black voice inauguration bells ring,” she says. “Spike won’t pay me / a crook from Crooklyn.” As for accusations that Trump’s administration used Michele as a token, she has a slightly different interpretation of the gesture: “White House invites me, you call me their coon / I am the butterfly growing from history’s cocoon.” She now says she’ll use people’s “hateful words” and her freedom of speech as “ammunition to fight the system.” “This is my standing / For John Lewis and Ben Carson / Questlove, Spike Lee, and before them / I won’t divide now / That’s not smart now / God before me, I won’t back down / This is my damn America now.” If nothing else, at least now we know how she spent her check.
Chrisette Michele. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images