Ludacris’s Endorsement Backfires

Posted by Katherine | August 5, 2008 – 12:24 pm

Obama praised rapper Ludacris as a great talent recently (though he wished he didn’t have to worry about his daughters “getting bad images of themselves” should they listen to his music). Last week, Ludacris presumably thought he returned the favor with Politics As Usual, his endorsement of Barack. The lyrics, though, which call Hillary Clinton a bitch, ask Jesse Jackson whether he wants it “head or gut,” and say McCain “don’t belong in any chair unless he’s paralyzed” — those lyrics were a problem for Obama. He denounced them.

Jay Smooth, a sharp-witted NY hip-hop vlogger and ballotvoxregular, feels the whole thing is a Ludacris — and ludicrous — issue. Not a hip-hop issue or an Obama issue. He concedes, though, that it affects the positive relationship Obama has had with hip hop so far:

Jeff Chang, a hip hop authority and blogger in California, agrees that Ludacris played himself and that hip hop can do better:

Rap can say whatever it wants, and right now it wants to talk about the elections. That’s cool.

But Ludacris seemed to want to reduce serious politics to stale old battle rhymes. Come on, man. You got a degree from Georgia State. Rap deserves more than that.

We know that these days it’s gangsta to be political. But if you really want to battle on that level, step up your game, else you’ll just become another tool for the right-wing talk-show circuit. […]

Oddly enough, all this came on a day that the National Hip-Hop Political Convention focused on the educational possibilities of hip-hop. Hip-hop artists, teachers, professors, grad students, folks from the Hip-Hop Think Tank, and not a few young heads from the street came to UNLV yesterday to get into the ability of hip-hop to open minds. […]

Listening, Luda?

Vlogger awhodatt — disguised as Alf — thinks the scandal Ludacris created for Obama does have a positive side: it highlights the damaging negativity of some hip hop. The clip is somewhat long and pensive but interesting if you have the time. (Thanks, Sarolta Cump.)

The common thread here: Ludacris, grow up.

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