The Realities of a Rap-Induced Presidential Electionby Brea Weinreb on Oct, 17 2012
The coming of November brings with it cold rain, Spring Telebears appointments, and, of course, the presidential election. In previous months the media has been in a frenzy covering debates, interviews, speeches, and more to help voters choose which president to support. However, the most overlooked influence on the presidential election is not found on Fox or NBC, but rather on your iPod playlist. That’s right, some of the songs found right on iTune’s Top 100 contain lyrics that endorse or disparage each political party.
We all remember the influx of politically opinionated raps during the 2008 election, with artists from Will.I.Am to Jay-Z utilizing Obama’s candidacy as song material. Chicago-based musician Common was the first rapper to endorse Obama in his remix of Jadakiss’ song “Why”. Common was recently invited to a poetry reading at the White House, a sure change from the usual reading of Emily Dickinson and Maya Angelou. Rapper Young Jeezy also released the popular tune “My President is Black” before Obama was even voted into office, composed of radical lyrics like “Bush robbed all of us” and “Obama for mankind.” These left-wing songs mobilized thousands of young listeners to vote for Obama.
Now that the presidential election is nearing once again there has been another outburst of political music. We’ve all heard Nicki Minaj’s sarcastic verse in her remix of “Mercy.” Minaj bluntly states, “I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney,” although her subsequent statement about chilling with zombies in Miami tends to derail the pink-haired singer’s influence. This seems to be more of a publicity stunt than a bonafide political statement. However, on the other end of the spectrum, country singer Kid Rock has chosen to support Mitt Romney, allowing his anthem “Born Free” to be the Republican campaign’s official anthem.
The majority of hip-hop artists are endorsing the president for re-election. Singer K’Naan threatened legal action against Mitt Romney for using his song “Waving Flag” in his campaign, claiming only Obama could have used it “without prejudice.” The drama music has caused in this presidential election has provided a much-needed break from the never-ending debates on the economy, contraceptives, and war. After all, we know everything is going to be okay when Jay-Z has “Obama on the text.”
After listening to hundreds of these political raps, my head was reeling and my IQ felt as though it had dropped 50 points. Although each artist clearly has their own political stance, there was virtually no mention of actual voting issues. It would be pretty hard for me to base my decision off of the color of Young Jeezy’s Lamborghini. I, for one, will not be bringing my iPod into the voting booth. Will you?