We’re approaching this weird point in history where hip-hop has been around long enough that there’s a lot of people who grew up with it, and certainly not all of them are gonna end up like myself: perpetually underemployed, getting paid to sit in my mom’s basement and explain silly shit to people, like why the GZA is better than Soulja Boy.
A few of us have even found success in electoral politics. For example, the other day there was a video floating around of the mayor of Philadelphia doing a semi-credible version of motherfucking “Rapper’s Delight.” Which seems pretty ridonkulous, if you think about it. If some shit like that happened here, I might have to move across the river to Illinois on GP. I just don’t know how much faith I’d have that my trash would get picked up at that point.
Barack Obama, who fucking trounced Hillary Clinton this weekend (white people, seriously, wtf?), claims to have never spent very much time listening to rap music, and I’m tempted to believe him. He’s not so old that it wouldn’t have appealed to him. For example, my old man is a couple of year’s older than him, and he’s the one who got me into hip-hop. But in interviews, Obama has stated that he comes from that generation that listens to shit like Stevie Wonder, and Earth, Wind, and Fire.
Which I guess makes enough sense, if you think about it. Most people with jobs that require them to leave the house at some point don’t follow music as much once they reach a certain age. And in retrospect, that’s probably what I should have done – if not because I was so adamant about going out and making a success of myself, then because it’s not like I would have missed anything anyway. Hip-hop, on the whole, hasn’t been worth a shit since back when I was in high school.
Also, even if Obama was a closet head, it’s probably best for him career-wise if no one knows, what with the heat hip-hop is taking these days. Take for example this guy Kwame Kilpatrick, the so-called hip-hop mayor of Detroit. (Again, I’d seriously be considering a move.) He fucked around and got himself into some shit, and you have to know people are going to try to blame it all on rap music. They might even have a point. I’m just saying.
Basically, what he did is, he lied under oath about having sex. Just like Bill Clinton, who I’m sure is this guy’s idol. Last year, he was testifying in this trial that didn’t necessarily have anything to do with him getting busy, and the issue came up of whether or not he was dropping it off in his chief of staff. So of course he said no, even though he was. Why risk getting thrown out of your own house on some ol’ BS?
Unfortunately for him, the court went through 14,000 text messages on his city-issued pager (a pager? Detroit, seriously, wtf?), and turned up numerous instances of the two of them talking about doing the nasty with one another.
An excerpt, for your reading pleasure:
I’m madly in love with you,” Kilpatrick wrote on Oct. 3, 2002.
“I hope you feel that way for a long time,” Beatty answered. “In case you haven’t noticed, I am madly in love with you, too!”
Other texts contain sexual content, like this exchange on April 8, 2003:
Beatty: “And, did you miss me, sexually?”
Kilpatrick: “Hell yeah! You couldn’t tell. I want some more.” (via)
A couple of thoughts on this mess:
a) Never mind the fact that this guy’s still using a motherfucking two-way (what, is he also dealing crack?), how come he couldn’t just spring for his own pager (or perhaps even a cell phone!), especially if he’s gonna be discussing shit like this. Makes you wonder whether or not the city was paying for his rubbers as well.
b) I’m not seeing any direct connections here to him being into hip-hop, other than the fact that our generation doesn’t have much of a track record with regard to relationships. But Bill Clinton did the same thing, and I’ve never heard anyone call him “the first hip-hop president,” though I’m sure a case could be made.
Either way, I can’t imagine this will bode well for the hip-hop generation’s political aspirations. At the very least, I imagine a lot of potential candidates will think twice about associating themselves with the genre, if only because the first guy who did it was such a fuck-up. Why even run the risk of having people think you might pull something similar? And it’s especially unfortunate because, like I said, I’m not even sure if you can say for certain that hip-hop had anything to do with it.