Lil Wayne

Rollin’ With Rush: How Rap Helps the Right Wing


There’s a famous scene from the cult classic movie “Scarface” where inebriated gangster, Tony Montana (Al Pacino) disses a bunch of classy conservative folks by telling them that they need people like him so they can point their fingers and say “that’s the bad guy.”
Such is the strange relationship between the Right Wing and rap music.

So, it should come as no real surprise that Rush Limbaugh defended his new homie, Shorty Lo on his radio show.  Limbaugh thinks that the people who caused Oxygen TV to squash plans for Shorty’s “All My Babies Mama’s” reality show are a bunch of haters.

While at first glance they may appear to be at polar opposites of the political spectrum, the ideologies of gangsta-ism and conservatism are actually dependent upon each other for survival. Just like in the world of Hollywood, every hero needs a villain and every villain needs a hero.

Since the inception of gangsta rap in the late 80’s, the conservatives have used the music to embody everything that is socially and morally reprehensible in this country and the gangsta’s have been quick to label anyone who disapproves of their violent and misogynistic lyrics as a wrinkled right wing ole fogy.

It must be noted that when the term “Hip Hop” is used here it is not meant to include the music of legendary political artists such as Public Enemy whose legacy is seen today in the lyrics of noncommercial groups such as Dead Prez but the majority of the commercial rap that has dominated the charts and radio playlists for well over a decade.

While much of the criticism from the Right has centered around naughty words and suggestive lyrics, the apolitical and anti intellectual nature of “gangsta rap” has, in many ways, fulfilled the wishes of those who seek to conserve power by the dumbing down of the powerless. This may be the reason why the commercial era of “political” Hip Hop lasted a mere four years but the reign of gangsta rap has been going strong for 20 years.

Therefore, it is no surprise that the late gangsta rap pioneer Eric “Eazy E” Wright had lunch with President George H Bush at a reception for the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle in 1991. That becomes even more strange in the context that the Right is not exactly known for breaking bread with the enemy as former VP candidate Sara Palin pointed out ad nauseum.

It must be noted that while the protest against rappers Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dog led by C. Delores Tucker and William Bennett only helped to elevate their status as cult heroes who were merely fighting, according to them, represent their community. Bennett went on a decade later to issue what could be a considered a call for gangsta eugenics when he said that if you abort every black baby in this country ,the crime rate would go down.

Also, during the mid 90’s while aid to the poor was under attack, MTV showed a clip with the late rapper Russel “Ol Dirty Bastard” Jones arriving at a welfare office via stretch limo to pick up food stamps during an era when the Right Wing was holding up images of black women as “welfare queens.”

Fast forward to 2013 and we see that Hip Hop has not changed much and neither has the Republican Party. Despite the many rappers who moonlight as voter registration organizers during political season, their day jobs are still keeping the masses of “ghetto”  youth politically misdirected and justifying the Right’s political scare tactics.

So, today what to do about the so called “Hip Hop Generation” is seen as the new “white man’s burden.” In states across the country there are laws being imposed where the wearing of Hip Hop inspired clothing may be probable cause for the implementation of legislation reminiscent of Richard Nixon’s tough on crime policies of the early 70’s.

With the economy saggin’ like rapper ‘Lil Wayne’s pants, the Conservatives need poverty poster children who they can say enjoy being broke. Who can argue for more social programs when the image of “tha hood” being broadcast across the planet is not an area filled with hungry children and dilapidated buildings but a fantasy land where black men with gold teeth ride around in expensive cars with spinning rims blasting loud music all day. Not exactly the best argument for affirmative action.

Now, I’m not suggesting that a rap mogul is in a studio somewhere composing rap lyrics with a Republican strategist but stranger things have happened in the wild world of politics.

However, at a time when the whole world seems to be yelling for change, maybe Hip Hop artists won’t turn a deaf ear.

Maybe, this year, to quote Tony Montana, we can finally say “goodnight to the bad guy.”

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott’s website is No Warning Shots Fired.com. He can be reached at info@nowarningshotsfired.com Follow on Twitter @truthminista

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  • Omega Kin

    Well it isn’t political scare tactics when it’s true. You can’t make up the shit these rap dudes do today.

    They live the stereotypes, so stereotypes are now characterizations.

  • Best Comment Advanced Dialogue

    I think Rush is just in L.O.’s defense to get some of that racist tension that he caused off of his back. It’s a little power move, a tactic. Am I wrong? Maybe. But I’m glad that they cancelled that show. If Shawty needed the money, I hope he can find another way to get it the right way, but as far as a nigga just gettin’ on tv with all these kids and baby mommas…we don’t need that. I’m the type of person that can learn from anything but If niggaz watch that, they’ll probably laugh and thinks it’s koo to see a nigga like them on tv but take no lesson from that nigga’z obvious mistakes.

  • ladynamor

    Rush Limbaugh wants blacks to have their own Honey Boo Boo to be embarrassed about.

  • Stacie

    I’m sure Rush has no good intentions. However, I don’t know anyone who is in Shawty Lo’s situations and therefore he doesn’t represent me or my peers. I think his ignorant story show be told because he represent a minority of men. When black people weren’t on TV at all that was a problem, when they were represented as only slaves that was a problem, when the cosby’s was the only representation that was a problem you can never win. I think everyone should have a fair representation including this idiot. It makes for good tv but in no way is a portrait of the black america, no more so than Jeffrey Dahmer was of the white community. This is censorship at its finest. The show in no way hurts society.

    • Celz

      It doesn’t hurt you.. Because you are intelligent and can think for yourself.. What about kids who look up to Chief Keef.. His Mom is a grandmother at 30.. Shawty Lo was in the trailer tryin to front like he ballin out livin next to T.I. and it’s a front he just got arrested for not paying child support.. Shawty Lo may be the only exception to the rule but if you have kids by 10 different women you are setting yourself up for financial ruin. So much is placed on instant gratification this generation is in for some hard years in their mid adult years..

      • Thatcouchaintyours

        Good post

  • Pierre Elliott

    soundcloud/insane relick

  • Chuck

    Good Post.

    Conservatives look for bolstering points to their arguments just like liberals…fact is irresponsible gangsta rap and irresponsible behavior in the community only serve to help Rush and his ilk portray us all in a negative light. The thing we must remember is that Rush is preaching to his choir…those people never have and never will see us as real people so it really doesn’t matter what gets put out publicly. They will always find us repugnant because that is what they seek. If they looked for truth they wouldn’t be listening to Rush in the 1st place.