Will Barack Obama Change Hip Hop?

Barack Obama and Ludacris

The Chicago Tribune calls Barack Obama “The first hip-hop president” in an article that examines the President-Elect’s sometimes reluctant love of the genre. We’ve heard plenty about the forthcoming changes in economic policy and foreign relations, but we haven’t heard much about how the presidency of Barack Obama will affect music.

Rev. Al Sharpton told the Tribune that Obama’s victory will force hip-hop to change its tune. “You can’t be using the ‘b’ word, the ‘n’ word, the ‘h’ word when you have Barack Obama redefining overnight the image that black people want to have. Here’s the greatest political victory in the history of black America, and the thug rappers can’t come near it. They will have to change, or become irrelevant.”

[Russell] Simmons says that’s hogwash. “Young people will use their language the way they want,” he said. “If it’s in their heart, they will express it.”

Any predictions on what the next four to eight years of music are going to sound like?

Prefix Mag is offering up an Obama mixtape featuring Ludacris, Young Jeezy, Nas, Nig Boi, Common, and others.


3 thoughts on “Will Barack Obama Change Hip Hop?”

  1. It’s an interesting concept. I think in general it gives black youth a new outlook, but whether we’ll see this infiltrate lyrics and the current status of the genre is to be seen. I can imagine lyricists making references – “transcend above the drama, grace lined with power like Obama.” you get the idea.

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