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Republicans Need to Start Using Rap Campaign Songs

Ever since Bruce Springsteen blasted the Reagan campaign for misappropriating “Born in the USA,” liberal musicians have been slamming conservative candidates who used their tunes. So what songs are left for Republicans? The Silversun Pickups? Forget...
Κείμενο Maggie Serota

There’s probably no faster way to find out that a musician you admire hates you than to run for public office. At least that seems to be true for GOP hopefuls every time they reach into the canon for a campaign song. Ever since Bruce Springsteen blasted the Reagan campaign for misappropriating “Born in the USA,” liberal musicians have been slamming conservative candidates who dared to use their tunes—during the Republican primaries Tom Petty asked Michelle Bachman to stop playing his song, and Tom Morello just blasted Paul Ryan for merely enjoying Rage Against the Machine’s angry anthems.


So what songs are left for Republicans to walk onstage to? The Silversun Pickups? Nope. What about Twisted Sister? Nah, sorry. Twisted Sister won’t let the GOP use their song. When Dee Snider, a guy who dressed like a feminized member of Gwar, doesn’t want to be associated with you, you have a problem. The answer for these candidates’ music supervisors lies in an unlikely place: rap. Yup. Forget those tree-hugging Hollywood liberal musicians, guys, and use the songs of the musicians who support you, guys like:

LL Cool J
Can you imagine Paul Ryan trotting onto a podium in a neatly-pressed pair of Dockers while “Mama Said Knock You Out” plays over some shitty speakers? The crowd of old white people would be confused, but LL Cool J, who attended the 2004 Republican National Convention, who probably be “down with it,” as the cool Republicans say. Also, think about the inevitable photo op where LL and Ryan show off their abs, since Ryan can’t get enough of the P90X workout and LL is allergic to shirts. Can someone say “GOP presidential ticket 2020”?

50 Cent
It’s hard to forget the time 50 Cent professed his manlove for Dubya to GQ magazine: “He’s is incredible! A gangster. I wanna meet George Bush, just shake his hand and tell him how much of me I see in him.” Pfft, you say. Why would Fiddy endorse a guy who would probably lock his car door if any rapper was in a 20-yard radius of him? Dude, 50 Cent is a millionaire who lives in a mansion in Connecticut. Pretty sure that’s the GOP’s core demographic. And the phrase “The world is getting ready/ Everybody’s getting ready/ For a new day” in the hook off 50’s new single, “New Day,” has the kind of bland “It’s morning in America”-type optimism that pairs up nicely with a stroll to the dais.

Daddy Yankee
The Puerto Rican reggaeton MC was famously branded a sell-out by Fat Joe after he threw his support behind the McCain train in 2008. Back then, all it took was McCain’s military record and love of boxing to win Daddy Yankee’s admiration. That, and Daddy Yankee’s belief that McCain was a strong supporter of the Latino community. Since neither Mitt or Paul has served in the military, and don’t seem to be inspiring much confidence among Latino voters, the Romney camp might want to consult noted Republican boxing promoter Don King for a crash course on the sport. That might be the only way they can ingratiate themselves to the outspoken Republican MC. Still, it’d be worth it—imagine if one of the Latin Grammy winner’s Spanish-language songs came on at a Romney event geared towards Latinos. How many votes would that bring in?

In a 2008 interview with, rapper Scarface of the Geto Boys laid out the temptation to vote for McCain. As he puts it, “I’m a strong believer that if you made it, you should be able to hold on to your motherfucking money.” Even before Scarface copped to his own fiscal conservatism, he essentially made his position known on “Skrilla”: “And you can have it all/ If you can take your money pieces at a time/ But you can't take your pieces outta mine/ It’s all about the dollar sign.” HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS, I THINK SCARFACE IS AN AYN RAND FAN!