Watch Exclusive Spike Lee-Directed Anti-Trump Video for Stew’s ‘Klown Wit Da Nuclear Code’

Spike Lee and singer-songwriter-playwright Stew, who won a Tony in 2008 for his work on the musical “Passing Strange,” have teamed up for a spectacularly unsubtle commentary on Donald Trump’s presidency. Lee directed a video for Stew and his band The Negro Problem’s song “Klown Wit Da Nuclear Code,” which is pegged to Independence Day. The two previously worked together on a feature film of the Broadway production of “Passing Strange.”

The clip features the lyrics of the song running over relevant photographs from Trump’s presidency and campaign.


Spike Lee Talks (Briefly) About His ‘Prince’s Born Day Purple People Party’ in Brooklyn

“This song is in the American tradition of protest songs,” Lee said in a statement. “The lyrics are self explanatory — there’s a reason the words appear on the picture. There is no album [attached to the song], it’s one and done (and hopefully not the end of the world as we know it).”

Stew (real name: Mark Stewart) is most renowned for “Passing Strange,” a musical about a young African-American’s self-discovery as he traveled through Europe. Stew wrote the book and lyrics for the show, performed as its narrator, and co-wrote the music with Heidi Rodewald. The show was nominated for five Tonys and won for best book; it also won two Obie Awards. Stew and Rodewald also collaborated on “Making It,” a song-cycle for the rock band and video, which was commissioned by and performed at St. Ann’s Warehouse in February of 2010. In October of 2010, “Brooklyn Omnibus,” another live song-cycle with video, was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music and performed there. “The Total Bent,” a musical developed at the Public Theater Lab in the winter of 2012, finished a twice-extended run at the Public in the summer of 2016.

In addition to his work on Broadway, Stew has released eight albums, either solo or with The Negro Problem, since 2000.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 14


    Leave a Reply


    Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    1. HonusW says:

      Spike Lee has sunk to the depths of …. nothingness.

    2. Impotently raging liberals are the funniest thing in the world to watch,

    3. Jim says:

      Still better than giving Hillary the codes.

    4. Reader / Listener says:

      Works for me!

    5. Kaboom! says:

      The only clown with the nuclear code was Barack, and he is powerless now. In the meantime, Spike Lee should focus on what he does best, being a racist and a bigot.

    6. Jasper says:

      Why is Spike Lee STILL using the ebonics of the 1980s to speak and write? Is he THAT out of touch? What an embarrassment to black people, and I am black, but he’s ridiculously ignorant.

      • Rob U. says:

        Why can’t you comprehend that Stew, not Spike Lee, is the songwriter?

      • dome says:

        Please do look at the meaning of Ebonics and why Spike lee is using it:Ebonics is really the study of the rules applied to turn English into some uneducated sounding pseudo-language whose purpose is for the most part to insult and denigrate
        May also remind you Spike Lee is a great screen writer and a University Professor.

      • Junior says:

        I think the only ridiculously ignorant “human being” it’s you Jasper.

        • HonusW says:

          Spike Lee is an idiot that speaks like a dumbass. Simple.

        • dome says:

          Why talk about Spike lee movies? with the President tweets and behavior any reasonable person should be afraid he’s got the code. This is not about left or right politics just common sense. Can anyone name any ex US President in the last 50 years that has behaved this way?

    7. Donelle says:

      Spike Lee = klown who hasn’t made a good movie sine Do The Right Thing 31 years ago. He’s a nobody.

    More Music News from Variety