Has Dissing President Obama Become As Cliché As Dissing Jay-Z?
If you’re a rap fan, then you already know there are a couple pretty simple ways to get your name hot in the streets (and on the blogs) today. The first is to grind your a$$ off, put out mixtapes, drop freestyles, go on tour, try and build up your buzz organically and then maybe—maybe—get the opportunity to sign a deal with a major label. From there, you can either make or break your career by putting out a debut album and hoping the masses catch on to your music.
The other way to get your name out there is to simply throw other peoples’ names out there. If you can’t get Jay-Z to listen to your music, well, then by all means, diss the hell out of him and hope that someone out there hears it and decides you’re worth a blog entry on NahYouHeardThatRapRadar.com. Of course, even if they do, you’ll still need to go through the whole process listed above. But at least people will know your name—and that’s a start, right?
That kind of thinking used to be restricted to hip-hop. Building a rep depended on your ability to call someone out and then back up your skills. But it’s even gotten played out in that arena, now that everyone is calling Jay-Z or some other well-known rapper out in the hopes of getting a response, starting a war on wax and using that to launch a career. We have 50 Cent to thank for that.
Unfortunately, it’s spreading into other walks of life now, too, most notably taking root in politics. That shouldn’t be particularly surprising. Politicians have been slinging mud since the dawn of America in order to try and make themselves look like the best candidate to represent the people. But it’s taking on a new form that’s both tasteless and classless and getting a little bit out of hand.
Of course, I’m talking about the recent TV commercial released by Ben Quayle—the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle—who is running for a congressional seat in Arizona. With no political experience to his name, Quayle launched an assault on President Obama last week in the hopes of getting some attention for his race. Sitting against a plain background, Quayle spoke these words:
“Barack Obama is the worst president in history. My generation will inherit a weakened country. From drug cartels in Mexico to tax cartels in D.C., what’s happened to America? I love Arizona. I was raised right. Somebody has to go to Washington and knock the hell out of the place. My name is Ben Quayle and I approve this message.”
It’s obvious Quayle is using Obama to try and further his cause. He’s taking a shot at one of the most prominent people in politics and hoping the response from it helps him get his name out there. He’s dissing the President.
Let’s hope this doesn’t catch on. Because he has so many eyes on him and because so much is riding on the success of his first term as President of the United States of America, there’s bound to be other coming-of-age politicians who resort to throwing shots at Obama to try and make a name for themselves. There’s going to be another guy out there who sees what Quayle has done and decides to use Obama’s shortcomings to try and show he’d be a great candidate for political office. Like the countless number of rappers who’ve thrown shots at Hov, there’s sure to be more politicians lining up to throw shade to the guy at the head of the country right now.
We all know how we feel when we see Rapper X’s new song, “Dead Presidents (Jay-Z Diss),” posted up to the rap blogs. After awhile, dissing a well-known figure to further your cause turns into a lost cause. So let’s hope this Ben Quayle thing isn’t just the beginning. Because there are a lot of guys who want to get their names hot right now—and dissing President Obama seems to be only thing they can think of to do it.