Video of the Day: How Not to Sell Your Economic Plan

By David A. Graham

Hip-hop and policy platforms don't mix. Ever.

This is truly the worst promotion we've ever seen for a policy of any sort, trumping Ross Perot's charts, Mitt Romney's pleasure in firing people, and Jimmy Carter's sweater. It's hard to know where to start rehearsing its sins. There's the painful fact of watching a middle-aged white dude rapping (Gawker correctly headlined it, "Don't Make That Rap Video: Middle-Aged Casino Executive Edition"). There's the fact that everyone is clearly reading off cue cards. There's the cheesy, off-the-shelf beat. There's MC A. Samuels's annoying resemblance to Dennis Leary. There are some aggressively bad rhymes: "plan" and "Park Ave."; "down" and "down"; and worst of all "dotcom," "gone," and "lawn."

But the worst is probably that after sitting through three and a half minutes of the song, the listener is left without any idea what's in the plan. This is like if "Juicy" told us that Biggie had made it but omitted the narrative of how he had done so, and if he couldn't rap.

Here's a handy guide for anyone who's thinking about making a political-themed rap video. First, listen to some rap first. Second, don't do it. It never works out as well as you think it will.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/03/video-of-the-day-how-not-to-sell-your-economic-plan/254758/