Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Obama campaign rejects rapper Ludacris' rhymes

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By DEANNA BELLANDI, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO - Barack Obama's presidential campaign said Wednesday that a new rhyme by supporter and rapper Ludacris is "outrageously offensive" to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Republican Sen. John McCain and President Bush.

The song brags about an Obama presidency being destiny. It uses an expletive to describe Clinton, calls Bush "mentally handicapped" and says McCain doesn't belong in "any chair unless he's paralyzed."

The lyrics also don't spare the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who recently apologized for making crude comments about Obama. "If you said it then you meant it," intones the rapper.

Obama's campaign blasted "Politics As Usual," which is on the "Gangsta Grillz: The Preview" mixtape with Atlanta spinner DJ Drama.

"As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn't want his daughters or any children exposed to," campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail statement. "This song is not only outrageously offensive to Sen. Clinton, Rev. Jackson, Sen. McCain and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics."

Ludacris' publicist and manager did not immediately return calls Wednesday for comment.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Obama included Ludacris when he talked about hip-hop moguls and rappers he thought were "great talents and great businessmen." Obama met privately with Ludacris, talking with him in Chicago about young people in 2006 before he announced his run for president.

In the two-minute track, the song makes a pitch for Obama to pick Ludacris as his vice president, rhyming "Hillary hated on you, so that (expletive) is irrelevant."

In the song, Ludacris also encourages black people to vote on Election Day.

"The world is ready for change 'cause Obama is here," he says repeatedly.

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