The search for “America’s Next Top Republican” has moved even further south to steamy Florida and the Presidential primary heat is really on! In honor of the intense election action going down (this is the first to have three different winners at each primary so far), we decided to host one of our own — but we flipped the script and dug into the state’s hip-hop heritage for an off-da-chain Florida rapper race!
We pulled together a list of crunk candidates below — and just to keep it interesting, we also teamed up the hip-hop contenders with one Republican hopeful who shares some surprising similarities with them. Of course, we don’t have any idea who Rick Ross or Trina would vote for if they showed up at a polling place on Tuesday — although we know Uncle Luke won’t be caught dead near a ballot — but hey, it’s funny to come up with these Dirty South-meets-DC mash-ups, right?!
And make sure to cast your vote for the sickest Sunshine State MC in the poll at the end of the story.
The ‘Bots: T-Pain & Mitt Romney
There’s no denying Tallahassee Pain’s mark on music — shoot, for 2 weeks back in 2007, the fun-lovin’ MC was featured on no less than 4 top ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Everyone from Lonely Island to Taylor Swift have collab-ed with the rEVOLVEr rapper and the dude even has his own app. But the undisputed Archduke of Auto-Tune gets dissed a lot for his signature robotic rhymes — and that’s actually the same flava of haterade that Mitt Romney’s been drinking this primary. As a super polished statesman who never strays from his political script, he often gets criticized for an over-produced, “automaton” style that has opponents calling him the “Mitt-Bot.” Plus, they both got the Presidential bug – anyone remember the 2009 T-Pain Killa Cam-Pain, an underground student movement to get the hip-hop hero elected president of Florida State University? And judging by the former Massachusetts Governor’s recently released tax returns — plus, those hefty speaker fees — he and T could totally talk about the “good life” over a nice non-alcoholic drank. (Mitt’s Mormon, y’all).
Uncle Luke & Grandpa Ron Paul
Uncle Luke is the legendary Miami MC and hip-hop mogul who changed the game as the in-your-face leader of notorious 80’s rap group 2 Live Crew. Their sexually charged lyrics landed the booty-shakin’ boys in all sorts of legal beef back in the day — hit single “Me So Horny” was slapped with obscenity charges and a sales ban in Florida while parody song “Oh, Pretty Woman” had to be defended before the U.S. Supreme Court — which only made crazy Uncle Luke an even crazier champion of the First Amendment.
Guess what other controversial old school dude is also a staunch supporter of freedom of expression and the fight against censorship? Grandpa Ron Paul, the most elderly elephant in the GOP primary, whose libertarian principles call for the government to peace outta people’s personal lives, including their iPods. These two could even commiserate over their political underdog status — Ron Paul is the GOP’s red-headed step-grandad (although like 2 Live Crew, there’s a rebellious youth army that’s got his back) and Luke was a long shot when he ran for Mayor of Miami-Dade County in 2011 (4 out of 11 ain’t too shabby for the bad boy rapper). But it don’t matter if they agree on free speech because Uncle Luke’s already decided all the Republican candidates are racist and even said he’s moving to the Bahamas if Paul gets elected, so that’s one bromance that will stay “banned in the USA.”
Big Rick Ross & Lil Rick Santorum
Hip-hop heavyweight Rick Ross blew up the scene with his 2006 debut album Port of Miami (he was raised just outside the city) and he’s held down a spot in the hottest MCs category ever since. But when his past as a correctional officer was revealed on Smoking Gun, his gangsta cred came under attack with one rapper leading the beef brigade: 50 Cent. The infamous feud has created some insane multimedia mayhem: Rick disses Fifty on “Mafia Music,” Fiddy releases “Officer Ricky” cartoons, big Rick uploads a video featuring Fifty’s mock funeral. It’s UGLY, y’all – and there’s one Republican who really understands what it’s like to get a cyber smackdown. When hella conservative GOP candidate Rick Santorum made homophobic remarks that pissed off Dan Savage, the super popular sex columnist and founder of the anti-LGBT bullying It Gets Better Project, he decided to declare Internet war. Savage created a blog to host his readers’ waaaaay graphic re-definition of “santorum” and it became so well-trafficked that it’s now one of the top results when you Google the former Senator’s last name. Ouch. Both of these high-profile Ricks have mad drama — but it comes with the territory, political or lyrical!
Trina & Newt Come Out Swingin’
“Da Baddest B****” in rap has been dropping fierce femme flows since 1998 when she was first featured on a Trick Daddy track. Since XXL Magazine named her “The Most Consistent Female Rapper of All-Time,” you best believe that the Diamond Princess hasn’t lost that notoriously hard edge. Last year when she felt snubbed by the BET Awards nominations, she furiously tweeted, “F*** BET.” Her short fuse reminds us of a certain quick-tempered Republican who’s putting up a serious fight in Florida: Newt Gingrich. “Angry Newt” showed up in full effect in the South Carolina primary — and voters seemed to dig his aggro approach as the former House Speaker won the state. But can Gingrich — who’s twice-divorced — overcome his scandalous past, which sounds a little something like Trina’s spicy single “No Panties?” Ohhhhhhh, damn. We just went there.
Follow on Twitter
Follow Rock the Vote on Twitter to get up to date bits and pieces as the campaign year gets rolling.