Ben Carson is making a pitch to young black voters, and he’s doing it in an unusual way, with a “rap” radio ad that just may make the “bad political ads” hall of fame.
ABC News reports that the 60-second ad will air beginning on Friday in eight markets. The campaign spent $150,000 on the ad buy, which will run for two weeks in a number of southern urban markets, such as Miami, Atlanta, Houston and Memphis. The only northern market that will get the ad is Detroit.
Rap sometimes gets criticized for weak and silly rhymes, but folks, to paraphrase the old saying, “You ain’t heard nothing yet.”
The ad is performed by a rapper named Aspiring Mogul, and his rap is mixed with Ben Carson quotes from campaign speeches. “Hear. Inspire. Revive.” The ad begins, with voices in the background saying: “vote, vote.” Then it really gets going, with this: “Vote and support Ben Carson for our next president and be awesome.”
Tupac just flipped over in his grave.
Fortunately the “rap” quickly fades into the background. The riff continues, as we hear Carson speak. It sounds as if the clip of his stump speech has been altered to match the timing of the music. Carson “raps”:
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.
Radio host and blogger Ben Dixon isn’t impressed. Dixon, who writes for If You Only News, and hosts “The Benjamin Dixon Show” on YouTube, had this to say about Carson’s attempt to connect with young black voters:
Carson is either trolling the black community or completely out of touch with his own blackness. This commercial is worse than Herman Cain’s ‘jazz’ commercial. Both of these black conservatives are as bad as any white conservative because they honestly believe that all they have to do to connect with the black community is to ‘jazz’ up their message. Never mind all of the detrimental policies their ideology would bring to America as a whole. Let’s just wrap it in a hiphop song.
Another radio host, Cliffvon Howell, agrees with Dixon. Howell, who hosts a radio show aimed at black listeners, “The Brown-Eyed Perspective,” says,
The ad epitomizes Dr. Carson the politician: full of soundbites, but no substance. The ad does not motivate me to look in the Carson direction. I don’t think it will have its desired effect.
I guess what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t have to ‘try’ to relate, and none of Dr. Carson’s policies seem to be aimed at the things particularly important to the community he is targeting with the rap commercial. He closed with the Obamacare is the worst thing for America since slavery quote. He’s playing that to one of the most positively impacted populations in America, the poor 18-24 year olds. Just shows his disconnect and inability to navigate politically.
Carson campaign spokesman Doug Watts says that they are reaching out to a non-traditional Republican voting block, young urban blacks. The Carson campaign thinks that if they can pull down 20 percent of the black vote, he can beat Hillary Clinton in a general election matchup. But at this point they’re looking way too far down the road. It’s not likely that the young black voters they want to draw into the Carson camp are registered as Republicans, which means that unless they live in an open primary state, they can’t vote for him in the GOP primaries. It’s even more unlikely that Carson’s inane rap ad is going to convince many, if any of them to change their registration to vote for him.
This campaign ad may not by itself kill the careers of “Aspiring Mogul,” and “Aspiring President,” but it certainly isn’t going to help either of them.
Here’s the ad, via SoundCloud/ABC News:[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/231659314″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=’450′ iframe=”true” /]
Featured image courtesy of Ben Dixon