It all started back in 1992. The East Coast/West Coast battle between Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G was heating up when PBS NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer called the similarities “whack.” But at the time, the public just wouldn’t believe.
More recently, the parallel between hip-hop and political feuds have made themselves painfully clear, as a polarized political climate has made partisan leaders take an exceptionally ruthless turn. Former CNN commentator Tucker Carlson explained how politicians are seeking new routes to settle their differences. “The world is a changing place, and frankly, we need to roll with the punches.”
In a recent interview, East Coast-bred rapper Nas described a growing movement in the hip-hop community to remedy its deep-rooted contentions. “Love changes, a thug changes and best friends become strangers,” he said. But while he and others are working to make amends, the politicians have continually set a poor example.
After a Green Party member attempted to stab Majority Leader Bill Frist with a letter opener in a Senate Chambers melee, rapper Young Buck pulled a switchblade on the man who punched Hip-Hop icon Dr. Dre at last fall’s Vibe awards. With a nearly identical verbal exchange, the scuffle has been described as a copycat attack.
“Who the hell does Young Buck he think he is, Ralph Nader?” asked Dre.
The confrontation on the Senate floor was said to be in retaliation for an incident outside Washington’s Rib Eye Steakhouse, a popular lobbyist hangout where Republican staffers allegedly smashed the windows of an environmental lobbyist’s chauffered Toyota Prius hybrid.
“It all crazy,” said Minnesota Sen. Mark Dayton in an interview from his O Street recording studio, Midwest Soundz. “These crackers should keep their problems on their records, not on the streets. The Senate chambers ain’t got a place for animosity.”
However, Sen. John Kerry recognized the connection between Washington’s heightened violence and the hip-hop world’s “flowery, pussying out,” saying, “I can’t help it if the rappers be loosin’ they’edge. But someone’s gotta do tha’ job!”
“Can’t be trusted, cause you’re livin’ in the past,” President Bush announced at a recent press conference. His shockingly accurate rendition of Public Enemy’s “Megablast” was used to explain recent changes in his political strategy. Bush was clearly put off by a reporter’s subsequent comments regarding Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, as well as a confused reporter’s request to clarify the context of his use of the word ‘biotch.’
Further questions were silenced by a deafening breakbeat as the president emerged with a boom box on his shoulder to deliver a challenge to his political opponent. “You think your shit is butter? Hop in front of this toast,” he finally proclaimed, with a gold dice necklace waving wildly as he was constrained by his handlers.
Dean was quick to release a mix tape accepting the challenge, which he distributed among Congress and White House officials. At press time Dean was filming a music video in the Bahamas, and neither he nor his posse could be reached for comment.