A hilarious cavalcade of reports came forth this week that Ben Carson has apparently completely fabricated significant details (plural!) about his path to becoming, dear God, the man polling at or near the top of the latest GOP polls. As bemusing as it is to watch a major political candidate for some reason try to convince voters that, no really, he stabbed a friend and attacked his mom and absolutely was a cool kid in high school, these revelations very quickly wiped out what is assuredly the good doctor’s hippest campaign move thus far: yes, Ben Carson took it to the streets (possibly tha streets) this week, dropping a “rap ad” / Drake-style surprise street single with the express purpose of Connecting With The Blacks. It…did not go well.
Here’s what Carson’s manager, one Doug Watts, had to say about this (all emphasis mine):
The campaign says “reaching out and talking to them in a language that they prefer and in a language that, and in a cultural format that they appreciate” is a way of broadening its appeal to the younger African-American vote.
I mean, I guess it doesn’t shock me that Ben Carson found a way weave simplistic racist stereotypes into his campaign advertising strategy, but I didn’t expect it to come quite so easily or be delivered so flippantly. But wait, Watts wasn’t done.
“Reaching them on a level they appreciate and follow and see if we can attract their consciousness about the election.”
CRINGE. Carson appears to believe that to engage with African-American voters, you don’t need to take actual stances on issues, demonstrate that you have a grasp on reality, or even simply refrain from making nonsensical, willy-nilly Hitler analogies. No, just a bit of the hip and the hop, and that should do it!
This is not the place to talk about how dumb and repulsive and disingenuous and insulting to African-American voters this is (respectively: very, very, very, and absurdly). Instead, I believe that it is important that we do not lose sight of the fact that a major presidential candidate, even a weirdo who for some reason recently asserted that the pyramids in Egypt were built to serve as gigantic grain silos, couldn’t get a verse better than this:
Revive [possibly: re-fire?] (VOTE!)
Civic duty-ish word salad so far. But I kinda like it! Vision. Freedom. Power! Thrust!!!
Ben Carson, twenty sixteen
Go and support Ben Carson
For our next President and be awesome
These lines, which both present a nonexistent causal connection and also unequivocally do not rhyme, come courtesy of someone called Aspiring Mogul (not his real name), a musician (?) out of Savannah, Georgia who bills himself as a Republican Christian rapper and looks like a combination of Steve Urkel and Brother Mouzone from The Wire. He apparently attracted the attention of Ben Carson via his self-produced “The Black Republican,” which should not be confused with Nas and Hov’s 2006 “Black Republican,” which is overproduced and gimmicky and comically self-important and yet still makes me feel like I could crank out like 800 push-ups right now. Unfortunately, this time, Aspiring Mogul only gives us two bars before gracing us with the dulcet tones of Dr.
Dre? Ben Carson himself.
America became a great nation early on not because it was flooded with politicians
Uh, I don’t know if anyone is arguing that.
But because it was flooded with people who understand the value of personal responsibility, hard work,
A good strong Calvinism shout-out!
Creativity, innovation, and that’s what will get us on the right track.
Notable examples of American creativity and innovation: cotton gin, Frisbee, baseball, the Taser, General Tso’s chicken, and now, lots of notable biographical details about Ben Carson’s life.
I’m very hopeful that I’m not the only one who’s willing to pick up the baton of freedom
Are you kidding? Of course you aren’t the only one. That sounds awesome. I will absolutely pick up the Baton of Freedom! If “Baton Freedom” entered the race right now, it would poll at least as well as Jeb.
is not free
[screeching, soaring bald eagle noise]
And we must fight every day
Wait, is this a relay race, or a boxing match?
Every one of us must fight for it
Trick question, neither, it’s a battle royale?
Because we are fighting for our children and the next generation.
Congratulations to those of you who just screamed “REDUNDANT.” But sure. Brother Mouzurkel comes back to mercifully close out this abominable agglomeration of rhythmless tones.
If we want to get America back on track
We gotta vote Ben Carson, matter of fact
Go out and vote!
And that’s it! While the headline initially delighted me to no end, I find the payoff very disappointing. The whole thing comes in at 60 seconds and features as many coherent policy positions as lines that rhyme. That’s not a rap song! That’s just you learning how to load clips of your voice onto your MacBook and discovering the stock beats in GarageBand!
If you promise rap to the people, you should be obligated deliver more than four lines from a nobody and a supercut of Ben Carson rambling about his favorite Olympic sports. But more importantly, this thing fails catastrophically at its stated purpose (again, the racist, bigoted, ignorant one, but still). It’s unclear how the Carson campaign can possibly hope to enthuse The African-Americans and The Youths without making any use of pop culture references or heavy-handed similes or throwing in even one little tiny Rick Ross ad-lib. Sheesh.
But fear not. I may not be a Carson supporter, but because I was at one point an upper-middle class white male seventh grader, I certainly have developed experience writing rap verses, primarily in the back of a spiral notebook in which I was supposed to be writing up my biology lab results. And while it’s been awhile since then, thankfully, I will be happy to cross party lines and lend a hand, just this one time. For hip-hop.
Go and support Ben Carson
Without him, won’t get far, son
Spit fire hot like arson
This is ’16 in 16 bars, UNGH!
I’m not Freeway, but I throw up the ROC
That’s Reagan Over Clinton, trickle down from the top
You can catch me down at Popeye’s, the Organization
Mouthing off to a robber while I’m Googling “inflation”
No basis for this claim, but I know that I can do it
And when I get confused, ‘ll guess and just say “screw it”
So in 2016, go ahead and tell your mans:
God MC, Ben Carson, “Gifted Hands.”
I want to be clear that if Ben Carson issues an advertisement in which he performs said rap, I will absolutely vote for him in any and all campaigns for which he is eligible this fall, without limitation or condition. Let’s do this thing, Ben. I’ll make sure to keep my phone’s ringer on tonight.
[terrorist fist jab]