Drill rappers Sheff G, Sleepy Hallow join Trump at Bronx rally

Rappers Sheff G and Sleepy Hallow joined former President Donald Trump on stage at his Thursday campaign rally in Crotona Park in NYC's South Bronx, one of the most Democratic counties in the nation.

Trump introduced the two drill artists, who were charged last May in a sweeping gang murder conspiracy case, and briefly gave them the mic.

"One thing I want to say, they're always going to whisper your accomplishments and shout your failures. Trump's gonna shout the wins for all of us," Sheff G told the crowd.

Sleepy Hallow shared Trump's famous campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," before they exited the stage.

"I like those teeth," Trump said after they walked away. "I gotta get my teeth like that."

Sheff G and Sleepy Hallow, along with 30 other men and women, were named in a 140-count indictment that accused them of using money from their music careers for guns and offering bounties on the heads of rival gang members. 

Sheff G also recently served 14 months in prison for separate weapons charges, according to Complex

Trump rally in the Bronx draws thousands

At his rally, Trump tried to woo minority voters days before a Manhattan jury will begin deliberations on whether to convict him of felony charges in his criminal hush money trial.

Trump, in his speech, cast himself as a better president for Black and Hispanic voters than President Joe Biden as he railed against Biden on immigration, an issue Trump has made central to his campaign. He insisted "the biggest negative impact" of the influx of migrants in New York is "against our Black population and our Hispanic population who are losing their jobs, losing their housing, losing everything they can lose."

Some in the crowd responded by chanting, "Build the wall," a reference to Trump's push while in the White House to build a U.S.-Mexico border barrier.

With Trump confined to New York for much of the last six weeks because of his trial, the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign has planned a series of local stops across his hometown before and after court. He visited a bodega in Harlem, dropped by a construction site and held a photo op at a local firehouse.

But the Bronx rally was his first event open to the general public as he insists he is making a play to win an overwhelmingly Democratic state that hasn’t backed a Republican for president since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Besides creating a spectacle of rallygoers and protesters, the rally also gave Trump an opportunity to highlight what he argues are advantages on economic and immigration issues that could cut into key Democratic voting blocs.

The former president opened his rally with an ode to his hometown, talking about its humble beginnings as a small Dutch trading post before becoming a glamorous capital of culture that "inspired the entire world." While Trump established residency in Florida in 2019, he reminisced on Thursday about his efforts to revitalize Central Park's Wollman Rink and people he knew in the real estate business.

Hours before Trump’s rally was set to begin, a long line of supporters decked out in red "Make America Great Again" hats and other Trump gear snaked around the park, waiting for security screening to begin. People were still entering the park well into Trump's speech, with some eager supporters sprinting up a hill toward the rally site after getting through security.

- Michelle L. Price and Jill Colvin, the Associated Press