Sunday, April 25, 2010

where's hip-hop in the white house?

Today I read an article in the Washington Post regarding President Barack Obama's lack of recognition toward hip-hop artists since he's been in office. I largely concur with Chris Richards' assertion. Obama has highlighted music as an important cultural element, and has held many concerts, but has yet to show appreciation for an art form that rallied to get him into office. There are many "safe" artists to choose from, but it hasn't happened.

One can assume that Obama is still tiptoeing the very thin line between embracing the hip-hop community and catering to constituents who remain dubious about rap music.

He took a similar approach during the campaign, adopting Jay-Z's dirt-off-your-shoulder gesture during a speech in North Carolina, while distancing himself from a Ludacris song that hurled pointed insults at Hillary Rodham Clinton, John McCain and George W. Bush.

While I also understand Obama's hesitation, I think he needs to tow the line a bit more. As much as I love him, he seemed ready to shake things up all around. There is a way to make hip-hop culture a conscious educational tool. He should use that to his advantage and acknowledge what the music has given him. Bring hip-hop to the House!

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