Thursday, 31 July 2008

Ludacris 'Politics As Usual' - controversial rap for Obama causes chaos as it goes viral

Ludacris has released a pro-Obama rap called 'Politics as Usual.' The rap was not sanctioned by the Obama campaign and the lyrics have been condemned as 'outrageously offensive' by a range of sources.

Earlier this year producer put together a pro-Obama film called 'Yes we can'. This had millions of views in a short space of time, was widely praised and was officially integrated into the Obama campaign. The film (with its range of celebrity guest appearances) enhanced Obama's appeal, especially amongst younger audiences. The 'Yes We Can' video was held up as a great example of how UGC / unofficial content can go viral and can make a significant contribution to a political campaign.

However, User Generated (unofficial) content in a political context can also be dangerous. Ludacris is clearly supporting Obama, but in doing so he may have done more harm than good. 'Politics As Usual' has already attracted widespread media attention and succeeds in playing up a number of issues that Obama has been trying to downplay / move away from. Ludacris 'Politics As Usual' has put some of these firmly back in the spotlight especially discussion around race - reigniting the Jesse Jackson controversy, using lyrics like"Paint the White House Black" etc etc.

The Ludacris track features the following distasteful lyrics:

"Hillary hated on you, so that b**** is irrelevant"
"McCain don't belong in any chair unless he's paralyzed"
"Bush is mentally handicapped"

* Full lyrics at foot of this post

The Ludacris 'Politics As Usual' rap on YouTube:

The best way of analysing the content of Ludacris 'Politics as Usual' is to use the lyrics to create a Wordle cloud based on the lyrics. This clearly highlights the prominence of certain terms within the Ludacris track:
There is no way of regulating this sort of unofficial activity and to try to do so would risk accusations of censorship. The only way to respond is to do what Obama has done (ie distancing himself from it) whilst hoping that no-one else decides to produce anything similar in coming months. Interesting dilemma for political campaigns online though. Candidates encourage internet activity in support of their campaigns, but do so knowing the risks associated with not being able to control what is actually produced.


The full lyrics for 'Politics As Usual' (Obama is Here):

"I'm back on it like I just signed my record deal

Yeah the best is here, the Bentley Coup paint is dripping wet, it got sex appeal

Never should have hated

You never should've doubted him

With a slot in the president's iPod Obama shattered 'em

Said I handled his biz and I'm one of his favorite rappers

Well give Luda a special pardon if I'm ever in the slammer

Better yet put him in office, make me your vice president

Hillary hated on you, so that b**** is irrelevant

Jesse talking slick and apologizing for what?

If you said it then you meant it how you want it have a gut!

And all you other politicians trying to hate on my man,

watch us win a majority vote in every state on my man

You can't stop what's bout to happen, we bout to make history

The first black president is destined and it's meant to be

The threats ain't fazing us, the nooses or the jokes

So get off your ass, black people, it's time to get out and vote!

Paint the White House black and I'm sure that's got 'em terrified

McCain don't belong in any chair unless he's paralyzed

Yeah I said it cause Bush is mentally handicapped

Ball up all of his speeches and I throw 'em like candy wrap

'cause what you talking I hear nothing even relevant

and you the worst of all 43 presidents

Get out and vote or the end will be near

The world is ready for change because Obama is here!

'cause Obama is here

The world is ready for change because Obama is here!"

Lyrics courtesy of

Related posts:
Barack Obama Wassup 2008 re-make
I'm Voting Republican controversial viral


Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the hartred should a Mccain supporter pen such a HATE filled pile of feces toward Obama?
Double standard MSM anyone?

Anonymous said...

McSame is old, bitter, and is dying (no pun intended) to blow something up...and Hillary should end up in the poor house cause she was stupid enough to spend all her money running.

Anonymous said...

Give it up with the cutesy little disses. McCain or McSame, I completely understand why Obama didn't endorse the song. Just think of what would happen if that became his sort of 'theme song' for the campaign...