Friday, August 1, 2008

Ludacris? More Like Ludicrous...

In the troupe of Lil John and Usher, Ludacris tells us, “Forget about the game, I’m a spit the truth,” neglecting the fact that sometimes the game just has to be played the way it’s intended. This week, in an attempt to make a splash on the political scene, Ludacris has come out with a new song that most certainly spits the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; Ludacris’ version anyway.

While it’s intended to praise the distance Sen. Barack Obama has come in his pursuit for the presidency, and promote the idea that his fellow Black Americans need to make an appearance at the polls on election day, it actually just spits all over people like Hillary Clinton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, President George W. Bush, and presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain.
Lyrics such as, “Hillary hated on you, so that bitch is irrelevant” don’t give much credit to his knowledge of the political arena. In one of the most intense battles for a presidential nomination in history, Sen. Clinton was anything but irrelevant in her hunt for the nomination.

Luda continues by knocking President Bush, calling him mentally handicapped, and asserts that Sen. John McCain “don’t belong in any chair unless he’s paralyzed.” I think the messages here are fairly transparent and it’s fair to say Ludacris isn’t a huge fan of W, insinuating that there is no more relevance in Bush’s speeches than can be found on the wrapper of your favorite candy wrapper.

In an attempt to follow suit and take a stand as a young Black American celebrity, Ludacris was adopting his own version of P. Diddy’s “Vote or Die” message during the 2004 Presidential Election campaign season. While this concept was a tad controversial, its message held true to the fact that he, Sean Combs, was trying to reach the over 40 million US Citizens between the ages of 18-30 who are often forgotten about during campaigns. It is important to infer that the goal of Ludacris’ rap song is to reach young Black Americans who may not otherwise be as passionate about getting out to vote. He is telling them that they have a chance to see the change Barack talks about become a reality, and that if they want to see this change they need to be the ones responsible at the polls.

However, his message is quite a bit more controversial than P. Diddy’s as he says further into the song, “Paint the White House black and I’m sure that’s got ‘em terrified.” While I understand what he means here about the chance to make history with the US’ first black president I think he says it in a way that really makes him look foolish. The song is too negative, maybe not the same type of negative as the notion of voting or death, but negative to the degree that the song is probably more offensive than inspiring, it’s assumed intent.

As expected, the Obama camp has already denounced the song, adding that, “As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn’t want his daughters or any children exposed to. This song is not only outrageously offensive to Sen. Clinton, Rev. Jackson, Sen. McCain and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics.” Probably not the response Luda was looking for on this one for someone who claims to be, “one of his [Obama’s] favorite rappers.”

In the first song I mentioned Luda asks, “How you like me now, when my pinky’s valued over three hundred thousand,” and I think it’s fair to say even the stock in his pinky has gone down tremendously after this one.

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