Six years after the release of their latest album, Gorillaz return with the denouncing “Hallelujah Money,” just a day before Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The song speaks of walls, money and power. A summary of Trump and his politics. As Gorillaz’s bassist, Murdoc, describes it “a lightning of truth in the dark night”. This is the comeback that not only we wanted, but we rather needed.
The vocals and the leading role in the video clip are by the musician and poet Benjamin Clementine. With his barytone voice and the sluggish beat, the track reminds us of a poem recitation and is quite far from the usual Gorillaz sound.
Inside a golden elevator of the Trump Tower, he sings about the fruitful “tree” of the US and the crows from the Far East that eat its fruits. Trump’s view of the “crows”, or better, China, has never been a secret, as he has accused the country for the “invention” of the global warming phenomenon and of “raping” the United States. Behind Clementine, throughout the song, a projector plays clips from explosions, killer clowns and shots of the animated Orwellian Animal Farm.
We hear “And I thought the best way to perfect our tree / Is by building walls / Walls like unicorns,” one of Trump’s biggest promises in his pre-election campaign, the famous wall on the border of Mexico. A wall similar to a unicorn, a mythical creature that has only existed in children’s fairy tales. The verse “Hallelujah Money!” is sung by the choir, quite like a prayer of the billionaire Trump to money, the divine power that leads him.
2D sings “When the morning comes / We are still human / How will we know? / How will we dream? / How will we love?”. Donald’s wall may be a dystopian dream that won’t come true, or maybe it will. Not even Gorillaz are sure if humanity will be the winner this time. The uncertainty of the lyrics for the future as well as the dubious success of the song itself is a good reflection of the uncertain outcome of things.
The video ends with a shot by SpongeBob Squarepants. It is Bob’s reaction when Mr. Crabs tells him the phrase “You’re fired!”. A phrase very familiar to Trump before the presidency, the Donald Trump of “The Apprentice”. Two not so different aspects of his, eventually.