Joe Biden was inaugurated as President in January 2021. In the time since then, Biden has faced criticism from both sides of the aisle and been the subject of many memes for his performance in the job. One meme in particular has caught on with many people, and on the surface, it has nothing to do with the President at all.
‘Let’s Go, Brandon’s origins
The phrase “Let’s Go, Brandon!” took off in conservative circles in fall 2021. It all started at a NASCAR race on October 2 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Brandon Brown, a 28-year-old driver, had won his first Xfinity Series and was being interviewed by an NBC Sports reporter.
As Brown was being interviewed, the crowd behind him was chanting something that was hard to make out at first. The reporter suggested that the spectators were chanting “Let’s go, Brandon” to cheer the driver after his driver. But as they continued chanting, it became clear what they were actually saying: “F*** Joe Biden.”
Since then, “Let’s Go, Brandon” has become a way for critics of the President to make their thoughts known in a family-friendly way. Naturally, merchandise with the saying, from hats to T-shirts and more, has exploded in popularity.
‘Let’s Go Brandon’ has been the inspiration for Billboard hit songs
In addition to apparel with the saying, several artists have released their own songs titled “Let’s Go Brandon.” Two in particular have even made a splash on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The first “Let’s Go Brandon” to hit the Hot 100 came from New Jersey rapper Loza Alexander. The song samples and is built around sound bites from the incident at the NASCAR race, including the reporter saying “Let’s go Brandon” and the accompanying “F*** Joe Biden” chant from the crowd. The song debuted at number 45 on the Hot 100 and reached the top 40, climbing to number 38.
A song of the same name by Christian rapper Bryson Gray (with guest appearances by Chandler Crump and Tyson James), meanwhile, debuted at number 28 on the Hot 100. The song featured more rapping than Alexander’s song and contained no audio samples.
‘Let’s Go Brandon’ has become a euphemism for ‘F*** Joe Biden’
To the untrained ear, one wouldn’t associate the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” with President Joe Biden. But because of its vague nature, it’s become a codeword of sorts between conservatives and critics of the president.
Even government figures themselves are in on the joke. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, for example, was speaking at an event in early November 2021 when he referred to the Biden Administration as the “Brandon Administration.” The crowd was amused by his joke, and soon erupted into chanting the now-infamous phrase.
Brandon Brown, meanwhile, has suffered financially as a result of the chant. According to the Associated Press, the sponsorship funding mechanism for Brown’s team has struggled with companies concerned about marketing the NASCAR driver given the political connotations.
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