Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oh, So Nooowww They Wanna Be Down.

If you've followed my site the past few months, you know I've made it a normal feature to note various rappers' very public doubts about Obama's chances for The Number One Spot. There was Nas, 50 Cent, Snoop Doog, and perhaps most regrettably, Earl Simmons. I dismissed this as typical Negro Nonsense, given the fact that 90% of these cats are either not eligible to vote due to Systematic Disenfranchisement[1], or prolly don't vote due to just plain ole' Negro Apathy.

Well, lo and behold, the very same guys who are supposed to be trendsetting tastemakers just jumped on the bandwagon now that the Democratic nomination is secured, which strikes me as the worst sorta opportunism.

MTV goes in on what's really hot on the streets right now.

Now that Barack Obama has clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, some of his biggest support is coming from the hip-hop community.

"Today is one of the greatest and proudest moments of my life," Diddy said Wednesday (June 4) of Obama's nomination. "Not just as a black man, but as an American. Senator Obama becoming the Democratic nominee for president is history in the making and proof that we do live in the greatest country in the world!"

"It goes Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama," Young Jeezy raps at the beginning of The-Dream's "I Luv Your Girl." The Snowman says he's been really interested in the political race this year.

"For real, as bad as we try to ignore it and act like it ain't got nothing to do with us, it's real," Jeezy said about what some people in the black community have felt. "What [the rest of the country] feared for a long time, a black president, it could possibly happen right now."

Jeezy said any of this year's presidential hopefuls will do a better job than our current president. He wore a shirt onstage at Sunday's Hot 97 Summer Jam that read, "F--- Bush."

For months, hip-hop artists such as Will.I.Am, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, the Game, Jay-Z and 50 Cent have been publicly supportive of Obama's quest for the Oval Office.

"I heard Obama speak," 50 told MTV News earlier this year. "He hit me with that he-just-got-done- watching-'Malcolm X' [thing], and I swear to God, I'm like, 'Yo, Obama!' "

He then threw his fist in the air. "I'm Obama to the end now, baby!"

Earlier this month, Nas told MTV News that Obama's rise to prominence actually got him interested in politics again. The Queensbridge native did say that he had a very specific agenda he wanted Obama to address if he made it to office — especially in the wake of the Sean Bell case.

"There never been a president to address the slaughter of young black people by this country's police," Nas fumed. "When your government's police are killing one section of people, that's genocide. There's never been a president to even acknowledge it. You don't acknowledge that? That's a big thing President Obama has to recognize when he gets in office.
Here's the video. Try not to laugh out loud as Sway And His Ridonculous Headwrap ask an on-home-arrest TI why he thinks Obama's the man with the plan.

I suppose I should see this as some sorta progress. Having Young Jeezy talk about something other than that "White Girl"[2] should be refreshing. Seeing Nas temporarily abandon his clueless N-Word shameless publicity stunt controversy to actually spit about something timely and relevant should be enlightening. And seeing Diddy take a pause from his usual Serial Impregnation to speak about the cause should be encouraging.

But it's not. It's just rank opportunism.

Reality is, since most of these guys either don't or can't vote, I can't really see this as anything other than a thinly veiled ploy to sell more of Nas' upcoming destined-to-be-terrible concept CD, and more $75 Vote Or Die!!! ringer tees to support Diddy's Children's Support Defense Fund.

Oh, and then there's the small issue that Diddy himself didn't even bother registering to vote in 04'. Ludacris at least did that much, but was too busy to complete the task and punch a ballot. 50 Cent isn't eligible. You know, Systematic Disenfranchisement and whatnot.

And These Are Our Heroes? Really?

If these guys were really down, and not the bandwagoneers they obviously are, they would have been more visible and more vocal over the past few months when the message really needed to be out there, not now when the job's halfway done. Gloating and jumping on the bandwagon when everything's gravy is tantamount to all those newfangled "Celtics Fans" who couldn't name a guy on last year's team, but now act like they've been down since the dark and meager days of Brian Shaw, Dee Brown, and Kevin Gamble. I'm just sayin', if you're down, be down from Day One.

Which is why I can respect artists like Common, Joell Ortiz, Jin, SaRa, Skyzoo, Kidz In The Hall, Taalib Kweli, Res and others who've been beating the Barry-drum for the past couple of years, long before it became popular (read: newsworthy and profitable).

"We don't believe you... and we don't need more people."

Question: Am I being too hard on these guys as usual, or does this sorta getwit opportunitism sicken you as well? Does asking others to vote when you don't do so yourself make any sense? Have you heard any other good prObama hip-hop?

Diddy, Young Jeezy, Respond To Barack Obama's Historic Nomination [MTV]

[1] And by Systematic Disenfranchisement, I mean jailtime for crack selling and missed child support.

[2] And no, he ain't talkin' bout no Lindsay Lohan.

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