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A History of Rappers Versus Politicians

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Rappers and politicians rarely get along. Until President Barack Obama's recent rise as the nation's first "hip-hop President," politicians rarely saw eye to eye. MCs like Chuck D and Tupac Shakur were always anti-establishment. Government officials typically fired back. But, now that rap is mainstream's most popular music genre, clashes between rappers and politicians has become a frequent occurrence.

Most recently, Nicki Minaj's lines, "I'm a Republican voting for Mitt Romney, you lazy bitches are fucking up the economy," has made many heads to tilt, questioning whether the Queens MC is actually a supporter of the Republican Presidential nominee. Interestingly enough, the President actually responded, stating that he believes the bars came from one of Minaj's "characters." Now, rappers have referenced political figures in their rhymes for various reasons. Some refer to Barack Obama as a strain of weed ("Word to mama, I smoke Obama in a grey Carrera," rapped Capone), many call out Bill Clinton regarding his scandal ("Do me like Bill Clinton girl, take it out your mouth, we'll shoot it right down on your dress," uttered MJG), and George Bush has been the butt of the joke for too many bars to count. But, rappers calling out politicians, and actually garnering the attention of the said figure, rarely, if ever, occurs. And MCs on an influential pedestal, directly attacking a political figure, while seems to be many, but aren't common as diss records. With Election Day quickly approaching, and Lupe Fiasco—who's no stranger to calling out politicians—dropping Food & Liquor II tomorrow, XXL lists instances of the rap's finest calling out politicians and vice versa. —Jaeki Cho (@JaekiCho)

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five Puts out "The Message"

#Grandmaster Flash_Politics

During the genesis of rap, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five from the Bronx released "The Message," which highlighted the socio-political climates of the inner cities in the late '70s and early '80s. The living conditions documented on the record detailed the grimy and gang-infested era, which birthed hip-hop. While it didn't pinpoint a specific politician, it was a crucial record, which eventually sparked a continuous tradition of rappers being outspoken about the political climate for years to come.

Eazy E Attends the National Republican Senatorial Committee

#Eazy E_George H.W. Bush

On the Game's 2006 single, "Dreams," the Compton rapper mentioned Eazy-E's Jheri curl juice were dripping on "Ronald Reagan's shoes." This line could've been a figurative description of Eazy's influence, or a literal statement as the former leader of the N.W.A was invited to attend the National Republican Senatorial Committee's luncheon in 1991. The rapper's charitable donations were what got him the invitation, and reportedly he wore a black leather suit to the occasion.

Ice T Calls Out Ronald Reagan and the Iran-Contra Affair

Ice T_Ronald Reagan

Former President Ronald Reagan is not a friend of hip-hop. Ironically, his policies that contributing to ravaging the inner-city in America, inspired the birth of some of rap's finest talents. But during the Iran-Contra Affair, Ronald Reagan's lies in an attempt to cover the fact the U.S. government was administering arms deals with Iran to fund the rebels in Nicaragua, ticked off pimp/gangster mastermind Ice T. "We buy weapons to keep us strong, Reagan sends guns where they don't belong/The controversy is thick and the drag is strong, but no matter the lies, we all know who's wrong," rapped the OG West Coast rapper. While resentments toward Reagan were relevant, his deeds or Ice-T's lyrics weren't convincing enough to prevent the former actor to serve eight years in the office.

Bill Clinton Calls Sister Souljah Racist

Sister Souljah_Bill Clinton

Who would've thought 1992 presidential candidate Bill Clinton would name-drop Sister Souljah to score points with the white voters? While speaking at Reverend Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition Conference, Clinton criticized the rapper's quotes and song lyrics— noting what he perceived to be a racist undertone. Sister Souljah who was also invited to speak at the conference was placed on the hot seat while Jackson accused Clinton of being conniving. Clinton would go on to become one of the most beloved presidents among African Americans. He's often been jokingly referred to as the first black president.

Kanye_George Bush

The media can't tell Kanye nothing. And Mr. West had to say what was on his mind when he appeared on a nationally televised fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Actor Mike Myers who stood alongside Kanye looked stunned, and so did the entire nation, as West, slightly nervous in his tone, skipped the teleprompter and said, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." 'Ye, like many Americans, had grown frustrated with Bush's slow response to Katrina. Fittingly, West's sophomore LP, Late Registration had just hit stores, and the controversy helped push the disc to 860, 000 units in the first week. Years, later, Bush released a new book, Decision Points in which he revealed that 'Ye's comment was one of the lowest points in his presidency. West consequently forgave him.

Immortal Technique

"Giants are not in it, so I'm disappointed. But that ended when the Pats were knocked out. I'd say Ravens, but I really wouldn't be mad at SF winning it either. But if you really want a quote: Its a sad but real statistic that a disproportionate amount of domestic violence occurs on that day. Remember you change the world by changing people around you. And for those who think that's soft, shut up bitch, you're the one watching grown men in tight uniforms scramble on the floor for balls. Drop the act, and respect your mom/sister/wife, nigga."

John Forté's Prison Reduced Thanks to George W. Bush

#John Forte_George Bush

As a producer for the Fugees, and a rapper with a mildly recognized solo album, John Forté actively pursued the musical path. Or did he? In 2000, Forté was convicted of 14 years in jail for an attempt to smuggle $1.4 million worth of liquid cocaine into the country. And who would've known President George Bush, or somebody in his cabinet knew about John Forté to choose the Brooklyn native as one of the 16 people with granted pardons. Although it's uncertain whether he'll start voting for the Republican side, in the end, John Forté was able to return home from jail.

#50 Cent_George Bush

50 Cent once said he wants to shake President George Bush's hand and "tell him how much of me I see in him." Whatever caused the Queens MC to make those claims boggled a lot of people, but around the 2008 elections, 50 rebutted his previous statements as he told New York Magazine, "George Bush has a talent: he has less compassion than the average human. By all means, I don't aspire to be like George Bush." Tell that to Young Buck.

Ludacris Harshly Ridicules Hillary Clinton and Senator John McCain

Ludacris_John McCain

Rapper Ludacris was amongst the many who supported Barack Obama's road to the White House through song. However, he did it in a slightly distasteful way as his song "Politics: Obama is Here," had lines describing the current Secretary of the State and the then presidential candidate as "Hillary hated on you, so that bitch is irrelevant." The ATL rapper went on to say, "McCain don't belong in any chair unless he's paralyzed," and the then President George Bush as "mentally handicapped." It certainly didn't sit too well with Bill O'Reilly or his viewers. Republicans quickly took Luda's jabs as an opportunity to criticize Obama for his supposed allegiance to 'Cris. Obviously, the charges didn't stick.

Common Gets Attacked by Conservative Ring-Wing Factions for Visiting the White House

Common_Sarah Palin

Common's never been too gangsta for anybody... anybody but republicans. Common was invited to the First Lady's poetry recitation event at the White House in 2011. This for some odd reason, caused an uproar within the very desperate right-wing factions that by any means are attempting to win back the White House. Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin and a string of Republicans and its party supporters rallied up against Common as a supporter of Mumia Abu-Jamal, and an anti-Bush, anti-American symbol of evil.

Lupe Fiasco Calls President Barack Obama a Terrorist

Lupe Fiasco_Obama

The Chicago MC isn't satisfied with Obama's foreign policies, as he said, "Obama is the biggest terrorist" in an interview with CBS News last year. "I'm trying to fight the terrorism that's actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff that the U.S. government allows to happen, and the foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists. And it's easy for us because it's just some oil," he added. Lupe's stance found few supporters in hip-hop circles.

"Money On My Mind"

Lil Wayne_Malcolm Smith

"I got my hand on the game, yeah I make a grip / Hundred grand in my fist, same on my wrist / Get key money from a quarter, blame it on my wrist /I whip coke like hoes, nigga I'm a pimp"

Nicki Minaj_Barack Obama

Jay-Z and Beyoncé Host Fundraiser for President Barack Obama at 40/40 Club

Barack Obama_Jay-Z and Beyonce