Barack Obama says he listens to Kanye West and Jay-Z [click to read] on his iPod [click to read]. Kanye West, Jay-Z and a host of other rappers are listening to and writing songs about Barack Obama. But the connection between Hip Hop and politics runs deeper than mutual adoration.
Obama is probably the first Presidential candidate to listen to Hip Hop, but that does not mean politics and Hip Hop just now came together. Barry Michael Cooper, famed author and screenwriter to films such as Above The Rim and New Jack City, drew a lineage of parallels between the two for his Huffington Post blog. Listing of some of the greatest emcees of all time names like: Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., even Bill Clinton is up there. They united the people, they spread the message, and they gave voice to the masses.
“It was the night Barack Obama fulfilled Martin Luther King‘s dream, and
accepted the Democratic National Party‘s nomination for President. I
wonder what went through his mind before he took the stage that night.
Was it Jigga, as Obama mentally scrolled through his list of detractors
in the media and politics, who tried to clown him by deifying him?: “I
never claimed to have wings on/I get my/by any means on/when there’s a
drought/get your umbrellas out/that’s when I brainstorm,‘” wrote Cooper, citing lyrics from Jay-Z‘s 2003 “Public Service Announcement.”
Cooper goes on to say that Barack is Hip Hop whereas John McCain is Rock and Roll. “John McCain may be more Rock and Roll than Hip Hop, which –along with
R&B– was the Hip Hop of the ’60s and ’70s. The raison d’etre of
John McCain seems to trapped between a pair of [David] Bowie bookends: The Man
Who Fell To Earth who joins forces with The Man Who Sold The World. No
matter how much distance this heroic fighter pilot and former POW tries
to put between George W. Bush — who is on an unswerving, abominable
path towards presiding over the most calamitous administration in
American history — McCain cannot escape the connection nor the facts.”
The entire article can be read [click here].
Reported by Benjamin Chesna.