There are no video ho’s. No clubs. And saddest of all, not a Pimp Cup in sight. But Charlie Rangel, the 22-term Congressman from Harlem, is now a hip hop icon—well, sort of.
Rangel has been in politics for over four decades, and in Tuesday’s primary, he faces competition from three younger Democrats (although he is, according to a recent poll, leading by 13 points). So it’s no surprise that the bow tie-wearing war veteran and Harlem-native is willing to do just about anything to seem #real.
Rangel is a noted dancing machine. On Saturday, he appeared at “Uncle Charlie’s First Day of Summer Community Flash Mob Dance Party at Harlem Shake,” where he shook it in front of supporters who shouted “Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!”
And now, Rangel has his very own theme song to shake it to.
Rangel for Congress has uploaded to YouTube a rap, clocking in at nearly three minutes, titled “Vote for Rangel,” by Londel Davis III (AKA “Fireboy LD”) which beckons voters to—you guessed it—vote for Rangel.
“I don’t know about y'all, man, but I’m turning all the way up right now,” Fireboy LD offers casually as the song begins (turning what up, exactly, he does not specify).
Fireboy LD goes to great lengths to ensure there is no confusion about who he supports in Tuesday’s primary: “We voting for Charles Rangel. We support Charles Rangel all the way. You better go out and do the same thing—go out and vote…If you gon’ vote, you gon’ vote for the Rangel. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie Rangel.”
Fireboy LD uses the next part of the song to inform listeners of Rangel’s many accomplishments: “You know Charlie. He was born in Harlem. Got a Purple Heart and Bronze Star—earned them in the army.”
LD continues: “Got orders that he execute. Graduated NYU—and that was back in 1957? Then he went to St. John’s and became a legal weapon.”
“If you gon’ vote, you gon’ vote for the Rangel. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie Rangel.”
It is very catchy.
A spokesman for the Rangel campaign told The Daily Beast, “the rap was produced by a very enthusiastic rangel supporter entirely on his own! the campaign used it at the rallies and in the sound truck driving around the district.”
Asked if Rangel likes the song and has any plans to record a rap of his own, his campaign responded, “LOL, seriously?” and then, “He has no plans to, but you never know!”