Politics August 26, 2012
Is Hip-Hop Giving Up On America's 1st Hip-Hop President?

It's the weekend. Summer is winding down. We know what you're up to. You're busy making your "Countdown to the 2012 U.S. Presidential Calendar," aren't you?

Just 73 days to go, before the American people decide whether to give Barack Obama another four years or give Mitt Romney a shot.

Safe to say, it hasn't been a stellar first term for Obama. His approval rating is 47%, down from 67% when he took office.

And those heady days of the 2008 campaign seem like a distant memory. At that time, Obama swept into office with incredible momentum.

Part of that momentum was built by America's hip-hop community, as icons such as Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, "Diddy", and Russell Simmons publicly supported Obama.

They campaigned for Obama, took part in rallies and influenced a lot of young people and minority voters to elect him. In fact, Obama was declared "America's first hip-hop president."

Well, as the next election gets closer, we came across a really insightful piece on The Guardian's website. It was written by Erik Nielson, an assistant professor of liberal arts at the University of Richmond.

Nielson makes the case that Obama is distancing himself from hip-hop (there isn't one hip-hop song on his 2012 campaign rally playlist). And Nielson says hip-hop isn't quite so high on the President anymore.

Here's a clip of Obama in 2008 talking about his interest in hip-hop. Take a look. Then, give Erik Nielson's piece a read.

Here's a few excerpts from Nielson's article...

"By 2008, seeing the energy his hip-hop affiliations could generate, especially with young voters, Obama was all in - encouraging artists such as Jay-Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs to campaign for him, frequently referencing rap music in his interviews and speeches, and playing rap at his events."

"After the election, however, hip-hop receded into the background. In 2009, the Obamas launched the White House Music series, which has sponsored a variety of musical performances at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Since its inception, the series has paid tribute to a wide range of genres, including classical, jazz, Motown and country, but rap, the music so instrumental to Obama's success, still hasn't been formally recognised."

"Even those inauguration VIPs "Diddy" and Jay-Z have tempered their enthusiasm... "Numbers don't lie," (Jay-Z) said last July... "It's f**ked up out there. Unemployment is still high."

Related stories on Strombo.com:

President Obama Confirms U.S. Drone Strikes... Via Social Media



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