While Steve Bannon’s stint as Trump’s White House Chief Strategist is shaping up to be a huge disaster, it turns out the alt-right politician isn’t really good at any professions for that matter. In fact, in 1992 Bannon tried his luck at writing, directing, and producing a rap musical and as if you even had to guess, it was a disgrace to the culture. Luckily for laughing (or cringing) purposes only, footage of the musical’s table read has surfaced online more than two decades later.
Bannon’s production was called The Thing I Am, based on William Shakespeare’s tragedy Coriolanus. The 20-minute table read, which was listed on video network, Now This, sets its scene in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles race riots. The plot is supposed to fuse the Roman dramatization with historic events, reimagining the Romans and Volscians as Blood and Crips, “feuding on the South Central streets in the aftermath of Rodney King verdict,” co-writer Julia Jones told The New York Times of Bannon’s initial vision. Unfortunately, it only gets more unbearable as pro-actors, Gary Anthony Williams (The Boondocks) Cedric Yarbrough (The Boondocks), and Nyima Funk (Key & Peele) try to bring life and dignity to their characters.
The Thing I Am was thankfully never turned into an on-screen production, which seems about right, considering Bannon’s highly publicized ties to white supremacy. But his script’s flat and unnatural dialogue will leave a stain on the art of rap and theater forever. At your own risk, check out the full table read for Steve Bannon’s rap musical on Now This here.