Here’s proof that hip-hop is still America’s most potent and controversial pop form: Barack Obama — a leader some have dubbed the hip-hop president — has yet to have a rapper perform in the East Room.
This administration loves music. It has held numerous concerts through the landmark White House Music Series, a laudable effort to celebrate unique strands of American music at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Thus far, the series has shone its chandelier light on country, jazz, Latin and classical.
So what’s taken President Obama so long to recognize the genre that mobilized to help get him elected?
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Hip-hop was pumping out the hosannas during Obama’s trek on the 2008 campaign trail, praising him in rhyme after rhyme. Young Jeezy’s “My President” was the most compelling hit to emerge from the pack — a powerful confluence of pop hit, street anthem and rally cry. Over a triumphant beat, the Atlanta rapper gave his endorsement with a trademark roar: “Obama for mankind/We’re ready for damn change, so y’all let the man shine!”
So far, Jeezy hasn’t roared those words in the East Room. And it’s not because the administration doesn’t understand reciprocity.