Anyone who looks at my Friday Random Ten will notice that there's a fair amount of hip-hop and rap in my iTunes. I've been a fan for a long time, back to my early teens when I skated to the Sugarhill Gang doing "Rappers Delight" at Skater's Paradise. I can't say I've been the biggest fan of Ludacris, but that's in large part due to the fact that as rap has gotten more commercial, I've gotten less interested in mainstream artists. I'd rather listen to The Coup any day. My one exception is Public Enemy, because Chuck D stayed true to his political roots.
As an artist, I defend Ludacris's right to rap about what he wants, in the way he wants. I don't agree with what he's saying in this song, and I won't be buying it, but he has the same right any artist does to express himself in the medium he chooses and in the manner he chooses.
But there's no question, he's acting like a misogynist piece of crap, and I'm glad the Obama campaign distanced themselves from this song.
"As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn't want his daughters or any children exposed to," Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail statement. "This song is not only outrageously offensive to Senator Clinton, Reverend Jackson, Senator McCain, and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics."I hope Senator Obama says something personally as well--I'm sure he'll be asked about it by reporters--but this is a good start.