“Yeah! Vote. Inspire. Vote! Inspire,” rips through the speakers over a thunderous bass and whistling flute. This funky fresh rap chorus doesn’t belong to Kendrick Lamar or Lil Wayne. It’s the GOP’s very own dynamite MC, Dr. Ben Carson.
Carson’s campaign released the dope 60-second track, which sounds like the way the DARE program might approach hip-hop, on Thursday morning ahead of its debut on “urban radio” in eight predominately black cities Friday.
The radio ad buy cost the campaign a reported $150,000 but the amount of twerking that will ensue will be priceless. “Freedom,” likely to become a Billboard Top 100 hit, is set to air in Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Birmingham, Jackson, Memphis, and Little Rock.
Rapper Aspiring Mogul, who refers to himself as a “Christian Republican Rap Enigma” on Twitter (his avatar is a picture of him leaning against a wall with a seemingly photoshopped picture of the former neurosurgeon), lays down dope rhymes like “Vote and support Ben Carson for our next president. It’d be awesome!”
Interspersed with these inspiring lines, sure to captivate young black audiences and Nickelodeon viewers nationwide, are portions of Carson’s previous speeches.
“America became a great nation early on not because it was flooded with politicians but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, innovation, and that’s what will get us on the right track now,” Carson ferociously raps as Mr. Mogul inconspicuously yells “Vote. Vote. Vote” in the background.
Carson’s campaign has shown Mogul love in the past, sharing his song “Black Republican” on the campaign’s official Facebook page with a caption reading: “Republican Rap, who knew!”
Mogul told The Daily Beast that he has been involved in Georgia politics for many years, and he is thrilled to be included in the campaign of a man he admires a great deal.
“I’m excited but I’m actually inspired that an African-American such as Dr. Carson—a great leader—would be able to step up. Because you do take some hits for being a conservative African-American in America,” Mogul said after noting the song only took him 20 minutes to write.
He wouldn’t say how much, if at all, the campaign paid him for the song and referred me to his attorney. But Mogul is just happy to maybe get him to start listening to rap.
“To my understanding, he loves classical music, specifically Haydn,” Mogul said when asked if Carson would ever rap alongside him. “I don’t necessarily think Ben Carson would rap himself but I think he has an appreciation of any musical form if he sees talent. And on some level, I think God blessed me with just a little bit of talent.”
Mogul also said he’d be open to the opportunity to shoot a music video to accompany the jam.
Carson campaign spokesman Doug Watts told ABC News that the ad is reaching out to black youth in “a language that they prefer.” Because plain English is simply not enough to get their attention.
“Reaching them on a level they appreciate and follow and see if we can attract their consciousness about the election,” according to the Russell Simmons of the GOP.
Carson did in fact get the highest percentage of black voters among GOP candidates in a matchup with Hillary Clinton in a recent Quinnipiac poll. To put it in perspective, though, she gets 73 percent and he has 19.
Watts did not respond to The Daily Beast when asked if there will be a music video associated with the song and if Carson plans to rap himself.
“This happens to be a group that we feel pretty strongly is ready and prepared to start working for Ben Carson,” Watts told ABC News. And boy does it seem like he’s right.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, longtime rap journalist and Genius editor John Kennedy said: “Ben Carson is trolling everyone with his latest campaign ad. It comes off as not only out of touch—the track sounds like something Burger King might release to sell a Whopper Jr.—but also insincere. Carson has publicly denounced hip-hop in the past and now uses it as an obvious pander to the youth vote. But people see right through it.”
There are two comments on the SoundCloud link so far. User dagogarcia writes “NEW SHIT” and Joe McAtee says “BEN CARSON GOT BARS.”
No word on whether Drake will hop on the remix.
— Asawin Suebsaeng contributed reporting.