MTSU professor stirs controversy by playing ‘F**k Trump’ song during lecture at Belmont

Photo courtesy of Belmont University

Latest update (10:05 p.m.): The below statement regarding Joseph Morgan’s lecture was released by MTSU on Saturday:

“Professor Joseph Morgan was invited to present a lecture Wednesday, Jan. 30, at Belmont University based on his published research on the use of popular music during the 2016 presidential campaign. In light of media reports that emerged after the lecture, and a subsequent statement from Belmont after the lecture, we spoke with Professor Morgan and reviewed email conversations dating back to November between our faculty member and the Belmont professor who invited him to speak. Here are the facts:

  • Professor Morgan was invited by a Belmont professor to deliver a lecture there as part of a series on Music and Discourse and related to his published research.
  • His research presentation included direct quotes of popular music, some of which involved profanity. The topic of discussion was made clear by the event announcement on Belmont’s website promoting the lecture.
  • The Belmont host, in an exchange about internal marketing, asked to tweak the title of his presentation, but there was no discussion about the changing the content of his lecture away from his published research.
  • Professor Morgan’s lecture included music examples with coarse language and video performances intended by the artists to shock and jar listeners. A clip from one such song, shown by the professor as an example, was shared in recent media reports on the lecture.
  • Professor Morgan affirmed to us he did not share or advocate any personal political beliefs in the lecture nor did he make disparaging comments about President Donald Trump.
  • And, at the beginning of his lecture, he said his intent was not to sway the audience. He also pointed out that such harsh language often hindered the message of the artists and actually benefited President Trump.”

An MTSU professor has caused quite a political stir after playing the rap song, “F**k Donald Trump,” by YG during his guest lecture at Belmont University on Wednesday.

 Joseph Morgan is a professor in the MTSU School of Music. (Courtesy of MTSU)

Assistant professor Joseph Morgan of MTSU’s School of Music was giving a lecture, originally titled “Popular Music and Presidential Preferences,” when the song was played.

The event, was promoted by Belmont as a “ (A) brief survey of popular music, including hip-hop, rock, country and Tejano, discussing musical resistances to Donald Trump’s campaign for President.”

When students arrived, however, the title of the lecture was displayed as “Popular Music and the Impending Tyranny of Donald Trump.”

A slide displays the title of Morgan’s lecture on Jan. 30, in Nashville, Tenn. (Courtesy of the Lone Conservative)

A video taken of the incident shows Morgan standing behind the lectern as the words, “Hey, Hey, F**k Donald Trump,” play loudly from the speakers.

Belmont University released the below statement regarding the incident, calling Morgan’s presentation biased, disrespectful and deceitful:

“On Wednesday an outside speaker appeared at Belmont University and shared content about politics and popular culture that was biased and disrespectful. Some of the content presented, including the presentation title which was different from what had been approved by University officials, was outside the lines of what was expected. The University feels betrayed by the deception implicit in the actions of the guest speaker. Belmont University does not endorse the message that was delivered and also strongly objects to the obscene language that was used. We apologize to anyone who was offended as the event was not reflective of our Christian identity nor of our institutional commitment to civil political discourse.”

MTSU spokesman Jimmy Hart released a statement to the Tennessee Star, saying that Morgan’s lecture “covered previously published research by our faculty member, which was known by the Belmont professor prior to the event.”

“Some examples cited in the lecture included coarse lyrics and a discussion on whether such harsh language helped or hindered the intended message by the artists,” Hart said in the statement. “Our faculty member assures us he did not share or advocate any personal political beliefs in the lecture.”

Reactions to the event were varied.

Morgan has not yet released a statement of his own.

To contact News Editor Angele Latham, email

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