“To me, freedom is everything. That’s what this group is about. That’s what I’m about. Freedom for everybody.”
It doesn’t take much to note the inherent hypocrisies of this statement — published in the Washington Post — from a father managing a war-mongering children’s music group whose hit single is all about crushing dissent. Jeff Popick, the manager of recently viral band (?) Freedom Kids, is leading a group whose message is: Accept Imprisonment by Right-Wing American Über-Capitalist “Freedom” — or else. The other hypocrisy behind the instantly viral Trump-rally-serenading band, of course, lies in the fact that it happens to consist of a gaggle of jingoistic minions whose political beliefs are likely not matters of either freedom or choice, but of dictation by their elders — as any eight-year-old’s staunch political views should be presumed to be.
The original video of the Freedom Kids singing “Freedom’s Call” at Donald Trump’s Florida rally was, for many people, a disquieting — if laughable — if disquieting — if laughable — if disquieting, etc. — sign that not only do some of Donald Trump’s ideologies reflect those of fascist dictators, but now he’s also employing a propagandistic aesthetic that mirrors, say, Hitler Youth. Critiques of it are obvious because the song itself is obvious: it is a hyperbolically transparent display of false freedom.
With that in mind, perhaps the most potent way of exhibiting its ridiculousness (apart from simply letting it exist, as a cultural… er, specimen, on its own) might be to treat it as an actual song. And to that end, the Internet has worked its meaning-twisting magic, exerting its own freedom to appropriate, twist, and eke further humor and horror from preexisting media. Of course it has.
This weekend, I stumbled upon a limited but wondrous world of remixes of “Freedom’s Call,” which highlight and amplify the song’s horrors by making it danceable. These mixes allow people the freedom of distorting “Freedom’s Call” into another form of hilarity — beyond what it already is — that also highlights (in case it weren’t blatant enough) the ugliest elements of what’s going on in this… ditty.
Here’s a rundown of some of the current remixes we’ve got going. If you’re interested in having an excruciating/mildly funny/politically fraught dance party, they’re yours for the playing. C’mon boys, take ’em down!
“Industrial Remix” by Monaghan
This industrial remix pairs the Freedom Kids’ chorus with synths and an authoritative beat — maintaining the song’s lyrical integrity and lush harmonies while underscoring them with an appropriate pinch of tyranny.
“Donald Trump Jam DJ Filastine Freedom Kids Remix”
According to YouTuber Filastine, the “beats [in the original] were kinda weak,” and in this mix, the DJ has placed the track atop samples running the gamut from Blondie to Sir Mix-A-Lot, obviously to suggest the potential the Freedom Kids could one day fulfill with the right production and artistic vision.
“Spike Right Remix”
The Spike Right remix may only offer a brief, 80-second reimagining of the track, but it’s just enough to intrigue. Right has slowed down the vocals in a fascinating, gender-bending twist that allows us to reconsider our preconceived notions of what a “Freedom Kid” can and cannot be. Deep down, do we not all struggle to be Freedom Kids every day?
“Freedom and Liberty” by Ripley Knoxxville
If you were, indeed, in the market for a “Freedom Kids” club banger, this would be the track for you, distorting the words “Take ’em down” and wrapping them around a wildly unpredictable EDM track. The Ameritude is palpable.
“Freedom Kids vs Showtek” by Jens Fokking
Well, duh! This mix of hardstyle-tinged EDM duo Showtek with “Freedom Calls” suggests that the Freedom Kids may have found their ideal collaborators. It wouldn’t be crazy to eagerly await the next frenetic hit from the Freedom Kids and their obvious Dutch counterpart.
“Donald Trump’s USA Freedom Kids Mixed with Hitler Youth Anthem” by Ethan Persoff
While pairing the Freedom Kids with Showtek brought out their vivacity and openness to musical experimentation, setting them to Hitler Youth elicits a vintage je ne sais quoi it’s hard to put one’s finger on.