During the course of this presidential election, Barack Obama has been critical of rap artists and the message they send through their music yet at the same time he listens to their music and has called some of the controversial rappers friends.
This past week, there have been news reports that Obama supporter and famous rapper Kanye West along with the band N.E.R.D. will perform at the Democratic Convention in August. The Brody File spoke to the Convention Committee and they told me that no official announcement has been made. N.E.R.D. is pretty over the top sexual. I would normally provide the link to their video called “Lapdance” but Brody File rules and regulations state I shouldn’t. If Kanye West and N.E.R.D. do end up performing will Obama say no go?
Obama is on record saying he is friends with Kanye West and likes to listen to his music but some of the lyrics are pretty shocking. Songs like, “Crack Music”, “Drunk Hot Girls” and “Jesus Walks” (just to name a few) are overtly nasty. No links here. A quick Google search will explain it all. Nobody is saying Obama is cranking up the volume listening to these specific songs but it’s part of Kanye West’s repertoire.
He’s also friends with Jay-Z and listens to his music. One of his most famous songs is “Dirt Off My Shoulder.”. Rough and tumble lyrics for sure.
"I've met with Jay-Z; I've met with Kanye…” “I love the art of hip hop. I don't always love the message of hip hop. There are times when even ... with the artists I named -- the artists I love, you know -- there's a message that is not only sometimes degrading to women; not only uses the n-word a little too frequently; but also something I'm really concerned about, it's always talking about material things. Always talking about how I can get something. How I've got more money...”
From a Rolling Stone interview comes this:
“I know Jay-Z. I know Ludacris. I know Russell Simmons. I know a bunch of these guys. They are great talents and great businessmen, which is something that doesn't get emphasized enough. It would be nice if I could have my daughters listen to their music without me worrying that they were getting bad images of themselves.”
I asked Obama about pop culture and rap music in an interview I did with him last month. Watch his answer here and read it below:
“The degrading images towards women I think are a problem and when the Imus issue came up, one of the quotes that stirred up a little bit of controversy for me was, sadly, as offensive as what Imus said, was we hear some of that language on the radio in our own communities. I do think as President you can use the bully pulpit to speak out against some the coarsening aspects of our culture. I am not someone who believes in censorship, but I think there's nothing wrong with speaking out against things that are teaching our kids the wrong lessons. I want to make sure that when I'm driving along, I don't have to suddenly fool around with the radio because of an objectionable lyric, or that if I'm watching television that suddenly there's an image on there that's completely inappropriate. That's something that I think all parents struggle with. And it's not a conservative or liberal issue, I think it's just a matter of common sense.”
So here we have Obama saying rappers need to clean up their act. But by listening to and buying their music his message is mixed. Barack Obama can’t put an end to the filthy words and sexual images that come from rap music. Nobody is expecting that. But let me put the question to you: Is this being hypocritical and beyond that, do you have a problem with a presidential candidate listening to this type of rap music? It’s not like Obama is singing along to these filthy lyrics but do those associations bother you?