So last week I was watching VH1: Hip Hop Honors and P. Diddy gave me an idea. When he came onstage the second time he gave me the notion of world where Presidential candidates tried to court the Hip Hop vote.
Of course being the mentally unstable person that I am, I took it to the farthest possible outcome.
But before I go to that I just want to say that upon my umpteenth viewing of the “My Boo” video, I’m extremely disturbed by the closeness exhibited between Alicia and Usher Raymond as the video closes. Now, I’ve never seen Light It Up so I’m doubting that Usher Raymond that talented of an actor. But he’s really selling the “coupleness” of those two. I find it shocking and more than a bit disgusting. This could have something to do with my growing obsession with Alicia Keys.
Back to the column proper, like I said I could be characterized, at best, as unbalanced. But I really think that the campaign process could be enlivened by the influx of some good ol’ Hip Hop spirit.
A Trip Into Mathan’s Twisted Imagination
The way that I see it campaigns are boring. Nothing new is really new in introduced. They are frankly stagnant. But imagine a Hip Hop campaign.
It should start at the conventions. Those things are more boring than the show that comes on after “BET Uncut.” Those things really need a DJ, to liven the party up. While “Four More Years” and “Flip Flop” are okay chants, some more traditional call/response hooks would fare much better. There could even be a melding of the two. For instance “when I say ‘four more’ you say ‘years.’ Four more – Years! Four more Years!“
Imagine if the candidates had street teams instead of just supporters. It would be pretty cool to see abandoned buildings covered with “Bush/Cheney ’04” posters. Or to see “Kerry/Edwards” posters on light polls. How about some florescent posters will all of the Democratic candidates for various offices on street corners?
Or maybe they could commission some graf artists to put together a piece that said “Bush/Cheney ’04” on something major. That would truly be a sight to behold.
At the very least the Presidential Debates could use some Hip Hop inspired innovations. The debates boil to two guys going at each other, and what’s more Hip Hop than that?
What if, when they took questions during the town hall debate, they had to freestyle their responses? That would be dope! Who hasn’t been clamoring to hear a freestyle about stem-cell research? I know I have. Not only would this clamp down on hearing repetitive answers, but it would be much easier to determine a winner. Plus you could have the Vice Presidential candidates providing the beat via beatboxing. Dick Cheney on beatbox? It gets no better!
Now in the next portion of the debate the candidates would use their opponents words against them. I know, you’re thinking “Mathan, what’s new about that?” They would be doing it DJ style, using wax. Could you imagine the sick things G-Dub (Bush’s “Hip Hop” name) could do with Kerry’s ‘I Actually Voted for the $87 Billion Before I Voted Against It” line. He could mix it up, slow it down, put some echo on it.
And Kerry could do some things of his own. I’m betting that he could work some of Bush’s better flubs into a nice sounding set. Again it would pretty easy to pick out the winner.
You can’t have a “Hip Hop- influenced anything” with out some B-boying. That’s right, I’m talking about breaking, poppin’ and lockin’.
The way I see this is that it breaks down into three parts. The first part would be the Presidential candidates and their V.P.s doing tandem moves, ala Kid ‘n’ Play.
The second part would be a huge group dance off, featuring the candidates and their respective, prospective cabinets. You know the drill, on member of each cabinet take center stage and face off.
This culminates with Bush and Kerry facing off. This would be a battle until some gives, although giving up isn’t necessarily a defeat. Personally I think that Bush would do a mean “Robot,” where as Kerry would lean toward “The Worm” which is very similar to flip-flopping.
After the debates the commercials would really heat up and possibly get Super Ugly.
Voiceover: President Bush mislead the American public about sending troops into Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction found. The world isn’t any safer now than it was when Saddam was in power. Now, does that sound like the actions of a president, or the actions of a wangsta?
My name is John Kerry and I approve this message.
Of course George would have an attack of his own.
Voiceover John Kerry claims to be for the middle class. But he’s voted against tax cuts more times than he’s voted for them. And he’s voted for raising taxes more than all of those combined. John isn’t trying to bring relief to the middle class, he’s trying to relieve the middle class of their bling.
My name is George Bush, and I approve this message
If Eminem’s 8 Mile taught us anything it’s that white guys doing Hip Hop things is entertaining. Perhaps the candidates could take this to heart.
Speaking of Eminem, I’ve got to address the whole Em/MJ thing that sprang up recently.
Firstly, I don’t think was a racial thing. Despite allegations against Em in the past I really don’t believe that Michael was picked on because he was Black. However the instant BET (the Black video channel) stopped playing “Just Lose It” and MTV & VH1 (the white video channels) kept playing it, it kind of developed into a racial issue. If you have the Black channel supporting the Black artist and the white channels supporting the white artist, the only way to look at the issue is in black and white.
Secondly you really have to question Em’s motives. While they may not have been racially motivated, they’re still suspect. Michael Jackson is the only person lampooned in the video who is still making headlines. Paul Rubens and MC Hammer have faded in obscurity and the public wishes Madonna would as well. Yet Michael Jackson is poked fun at while he has a court case pending.
Let’s face the fact that Em picks on easy targets. He’s never made fun of anyone with teeth. Encore is rumored to be a political album”¦that comes out two weeks after the election. How bold!
(I should point out that in the last thirty minutes I’ve seen “Just Lose It” three times.)
I think that MJ has a legitimate beef. The difference between Em and the talk show hosts who make fun of MJ on a nightly basis is that it’s not Em’s job to make fun of people. Em is an mc. He’s supposed to rhyme. Em and MJ are peers. I don’t recall too many of Em’s peers poking fun at him when the whole “n-word” controversy came out. I also don’t recall his peers making a huge deal about of his familial struggles. (Of course I’m discounting beefs.)
As a professional courtesy Em should have left MJ alone. After all, Em should know a thing or two about career ending allegations. And really does a guy who can’t take being picked on by a hand puppet dog, have a leg to stand on about making a “big deal” out of anything?
Alas, the column is over. But your reading adventure continues;
The Bayside Tigers
Aaron discusses ethics and his lack of understanding Steven A. Smith.
Jeff officially has a column title longer than mine. A great weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
Gordi continues to shine with is refreshing columns on oft neglected forms of music. Amazing.
Gloomchen is right. She’s always right.
Tom is on vacation, but he still gives you something to think about.
The Valley Bulldogs
Ari stereotypes, but in a good way.
Jim’s got some interesting KRS quotes.
Double M practices the art of brevity.
Ian had a traumatic experience at a Doves concert. But he’s trying to work through it.
Five Videos I’m Feelin’ Right Now
1. Kanye West – “The New Workout Plan”
2. Ice City – “Lock It Down”
3. Snoop Dogg – “Drop It Like It’s Hot”
4. Fabolous – “Breathe”
5. Modest Mouse – “Ocean Breathes Salty”