What separates Michelle Obama’s ‘Go to College’ rap from Ben Carson’s ‘Vote …

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Michelle Obama Just Dropped A Rap Video About College.

The first lady’s willingness and comfort with engaging in all things zeitgeisty was once again on display Thursday morning, thanks to a rap collaboration she did for College Humor with “Saturday Night Live” star Jay Pharaoh.

As if we didn’t already think Michelle Obama was the chillest FLOTUS yet, her new rap video will make you love her even more (and want to go to college). “If you wanna fight crime, you should go to college/If you wanna write rhymes fill your head with knowledge/If you wanna stare at grass don’t go to college, but for everything else you should go to college,” Obama expertly raps alongside Pharoah, from a recording studio that appears to be inside the White House. While Shelley-O’s innocuous enough message is lovely, the thing that makes this video sing, as well as making it ripe for social media remixing, already taking place, is Obama’s self-awareness and her sense of irony. (As of this typing, #FlotusBars is trending on Twitter.) That is to say, she’s not afraid to acknowledge the cornball move and fully lean into it anyway, whether it be in the name of higher education or encouraging us to eat well and drink more water alongside the Miami Heat. Last month, presidential candidate Ben Carson drew reams of head-shaking when his campaign aired this radio ad that was very earnestly aimed at attracting African Americans to his campaign with the rappity rap and the hippity hop. Both sides of the political aisle have shown a willingness to engage with hip hop as superficial acknowledgements of the younger and browner parts of the electorate. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) isn’t shy about identifying himself as a Nicki Minaj fan, and even Hillary Clinton has given Silento’s Whip/Nae Nae her best shot.

At the very least, pandering signals that a particular group is being seen, though it also arguably signals that it’s not being taken seriously, especially on the occasions when said pandering is obviously transparent.

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