This politically-charged track finds Pusha T and Mavis Staples delivering hypothetical, doomsday lyrics about a world falling apart under a Donald Trump administration.
Obama is gone, who is left to save us?
So together we mourn, I'm praying for my neighbors
They say the devil's at work and Trump is calling favors
Speaking to Zane Lowe on Beats 1, Pusha T said that Damon Albarn contacted him in spring 2016 before Trump was even the Republican candidate. According to the rapper, the Gorillaz founding member wanted to create a dark fantasy about the world coming to an end after Trump becomes president.
"Damon begins to tell me to conceptualize the album as a party for the end of the world, like if Trump were to win," he said. "I wrote from the perspective of this day…from the perspective of a Trump win. So when this s--t really happened, I was like, 'Wait a minute.' And then I started wondering, 'What kind of a crystal ball does this guy have?'"
"Like why are you even asking me to even think along these lines? And he really did, man. He was first," Pusha added. "I don't think that he thought he was going to win, I'm not gonna go that far, but he definitely conceptualized this whole thing."
Pusha T went on to say during the interview that he has always been drawn to Gorillaz's uncompromising vision. "It was all about the music, the whole cartoon aspect of it," he said. "A lot of it was like 'Damn, these guys are so true to what they believe in, and they're so dope and they just do what they want to do.'"
Gorillaz co-founder Jamie Hewlett told The Observer the same thing often happens when he and Albarn have people coming into the studio.
"There's that initial moment when they're a bit uncomfortable, and then they start becoming musical with each other and it's a different story," he explained. "When we had Mavis Staples in, it took a while for her to get into the song, and there was a moment with her and Damon, and Damon's got his guitar, and she's sitting next to him, and Damon's taking her through it. And then, after an hour, they suddenly find this connection, and it's really strong. You can see it on the film. It's a breakthrough, like they discover this little love affair through music and they make a song. You can't have that as an artist, you know?"
Although much of Humanz was recorded before Donald Trump won the election, it's now become a prophetic political statement for the group. "Humanz is not a political statement about Trump – it's about a world in which he could get elected," Jamie Hewlett told Q magazine. "Where are we as a race? Why haven't we grown out of this? Putting the Z on the end is not a hip-hop statement, it's more like an android Z. Are we human beings or just humanz? What the f--k is wrong with us?"
Every mention of Donald Trump was removed from Humanz because Gorillaz didn't "want to give the most famous man on earth any more fame," according to Damon Albarn.
"Trump's ascension was one of the sources of energy that we meditated on, when it was like, 'Ahh, that's ridiculous, that could never happen,'" Albarn explained to Billboard magazine, adding: "There's no references to [Trump] on the record – in fact, any time when anyone made any reference, I edited it out. I don't want to give the most famous man on earth any more fame, particularly. He doesn't need it!"