A new song by Ludacris called “Politics as Usual,” in which he makes derogatory comments about Hillary Clinton and John McCain but praises Barack Obama, is stirring a controversy over Obama’s association with the rapper. The first black presidential nominee recently claimed to have Ludacris on his iPod, but is denouncing the lyrics to the new song.
What the commentators said
Obama should have known better than to speak “fondly” of Ludacris, said J. Freedom du Lac in The Washington Post. “In the arsenal of the culture wars, rap music remains somewhat radioactive—and Barack Obama now finds himself exposed.” Rappers “tend to love” Obama, but he “can’t love them back”— that is, if he wants to keep making “inroads among older white voters.”
This does create a “dilemma” for Obama, said Errin Haines in the Associated Press. But although “hip-hop fans are expected to be a factor in the November election, the song is not”—they understand that Obama has to play the game in order to get elected. Obama also has the endorsement of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons.
The real question, said Michelle Nealy in the blog Politikal Soul, is what was Ludacris thinking? Did he really think that making “derogatory” comments about Hillary Clinton and John McCain would help Obama? Hopefully, the voting public will realize that the rapper has “obviously lost his mind.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 7 tips for keeping your man (from the 1950s)
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 4 simple steaks you can cook in a pan
- Does solar energy have a battery problem?
- 10 ways to gain real superpowers that will change your life
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
Subscribe to the Week