2000 and beyond: Rappers don’t care for (white) presidents

George W Bush takes office and quickly becomes the most hated on president out of all the presidents that say they get hated on. Barack Obama, however, receives nothing but praise.

2000: Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman take on George W Bush and Dick Cheney in the presidential elections. In a surprising outcome Gore receives the majority of the actual vote, but Bush wins more electoral votes and heads to the White House surrounded by huge controversy.

Atlanta rappers Outkast perform on David Letterman and start an “Al Gore”-chant at the end of their showcase.

2001: The 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon leave the world shocked and eventually lead George W Bush to wage war on Iraq, Afghanistan and “terror”.

Fredwreck releases the track “Dear Mr. President” with an all star cast of MC’s including B-Real and KRS-One. Rapped as a letter to the president, with lines like: “Dear Mr President, you and your friends you all are crooks, sellin out the poor man, the soldiers lives are took, I can’t see no difference from Mr. Hussein to Mr. Bush, death and deception it’s the brew the devil cooks.”

Wu-Tang Clan’s 4th studio album hits the stores. On the track “Rules”, Ghostface Killah takes a stand for New York with the lines: “Who the fuck knocked our buildings down? Who the man behind the World Trade massacres, step up now, where the four planes at huh is you insane bitch? Fly that shit over my hood and get blown to bits! No disrespect, that’s where I rest my head, I understand you gotta rest yours true, nigga my people’s dead, America, together we stand, divided we fall, Mr. Bush sit down, I’m in charge of the war!”

In a puzzling move Canibus releases “Draft Me” a song promoting signing up for the army complete with a George W Bush sample at the end. In an even more puzzling move, Canibus does in fact join the army.

2002: Public Enemy, the grand ol’ men of political hip hop, release “Son of a Bush” hinting to the term “Son of a bitch” and alluding that ills of Bush Sr. will continue under the new Bush administration.

Eminem releases “The Eminem Show” and on the lead-single “Without Me” makes fun of vice-president Dick Cheney’s heart problems. He’s far less humorous on the track “White America” which ends with an Ice-T’esque rant with lines such: “Fuck you Ms. Cheney! Fuck you Tipper Gore! Fuck you with the free-est of speech, this Divided States of Embarassment will allow me to have, Fuck you!” The song “Square Dance” even declares Em has a “Plan to ambush this Bush administration” solidifying his newfound role as a political rapper.

2003: Bubba Sparxxx releases his sophomore album “Deliverance” with a mix of hiphop, bluegrass and rock. On the retrospective “Nowhere” he reflects: “We love some Jimmy Carter, but we never even voted”.

Paris releases his album “Sonic Jihad” which like “Sleeping with the enemy” sports a cover that portrays the assassination of Bush. This time Jr. and in a slightly flyer fashion:


2004: John Kerry with running mate John Edwards unsuccessfully run against Bush/Cheney. The fact that John Kerry once belonged to the same Skull & Bones society at Yale as George W Bush probably didn’t help, nor did rumours that he made light of American soldiers’ sacrifice, and issue that would arise again four years later.

Puff Daddy, Mary J Blige, 50 Cent and others form the “Vote or die” movement encouraging young people to sign up and vote. 50 however, due to his status as a convicted felon is kept from voting himself.

Howard Dean launches an initially successful campaign to become presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. Among other things, he uses a street-team to tag the campaign stages with red, white and blue graffiti. After he starts screaming like a mad man, he’s forced to quit the race for candidacy and the phrase: “I scream, you scream, we all scream for Howard Dean” is born.

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton also announces his candidacy, not to much ado.

Jay-Z becomes president of Def Jam records. He begins recording under the moniker “El Presidente” and cheekily nicknames his team of execs “The Carter Administration”, a play on his real name Shawn Carter and Jimmy Carter. Like smiling Jimmy, Jiggaman will only remain president for four years.

Immortal Technique, an angry, angry young rapper records “Bin Laden” featuring a hook by Eminem and Mos Def, who are later replaced by Chuck D and KRS-One on the official version. He starts off with the line: “I pledge no allegiance, nigga, fuck the president’s speeches, I’m baptized by America and covered in leeches”.

Eminem releases his most political song to date, “Mosh” which calls for everyone to vote for Kerry against Bush. Eminem, 32 at the time, reveals his has never voted before but plans to this time.

Jadakiss releases the song “Why” with the line: “Why do niggas push pounds of powder? Why did Bush knock down the towers?” This catches the attention of Bill O’reily who will add Jadakiss to a list of Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Nas and Ludacris of rappers whom he does not like, possibly leading to Jada’s most public notoriety.

Xzibit releases his album “Weapons of Mass Destruction” named after George Bush’s catchphrase leading up to the Iraq invasion. A George W Bush impersonator introduces the album by revealing that George Dubya is in fact the weapon of mass destruction himself.

2005: Mad Skills who had started the annual tradition of wrapping up the past year’s events in a song wonders: “For a minute though, voting was fly, and everybody had a shirt that said “Vote or Die”, seen on everybody from 50 to Jigga, newsflash to Puff, shirts didn’t work nigga, the election was scary, don’t front, don’t you feel bad for John Kerry?”

On “Dreams” the master of name-dropping, The Game, references Eazy-E’s dinner with the president with the lines: “The dream of Huey Newton that’s what I’m livin through, the dream of Eric Wright, that’s what I’m givin you, who walked through the White House without a business suit, Compton had jheri curl drippin on Ronald Reagan’s shoes”. It was in fact Bush Sr. and not Reagan whom Eazy had dinner with, but then again The Game also thought Dr Dre released “2001” in 2001.

Pharoahe Monch, ever the conspiracy theorist uses the anti-war track “Agent Orange” to declare: “’Its Resident Evil when every President’s a Mason”.


During live performances Nas asks for audience to kill George W Bush. It becomes a common at (especially European) rap concerts to chant “fuck George Bush”.

Following Hurricane Katrina Kanye West appears on national TV and states: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

2006: On “Dollar Day (Katrina Clap)” Mos Def raps: “And Mr. President he bout that cash, He got a policy for handling the niggas and trash”. When attempting to perform the song spontaneously at the MTV Awards, Mos Def is arrested.

Ice Cube takes a break from acting in comedies to record the album “Laugh Now Cry Later” with the pro-rap anthem “Why we thugs” which includes the rhymes: “It’s the same ol same, Bush run shit like Sadaam Hussein, I cock and aim, clinically insane, to deal with this bullshit day to day”.

Freestyle phenomenon Jin does campaigning for Barack Obama’s candidacy for president, officially making him the first rapper to put his full support behind Obama.

2007: On the track “Blue Magic” from the album “American Gangster” Jay-Z raps: “Push, money over broads, you got it, fuck Bush, chef, guess what I cooked”. Asked whether this was a stab (no p(Un) intended) at the president, Jay-Z replied: “It was really a triple entendre, double. “Money over broads, you got it, fuck bush.” Fuck broads or fuck bush. I just thought it was some clever shit”.

However on the same track Jay-Z also alludes to a popular opinion in the hip-hop community that the government helped distribute crack in the 80’s with the line: “I blame Regan for making me into a Monster / I blame Oliver North and the Iran Contra / I ran Contraband that they sponsored”.

Taking a page from David Icke DJ Muggs Vs Sick Jacken’s album “The Legend of the mask and the assassin” contains the track “Reptilian Renaisance” about a secret conspiracy for snake-like people to control the world, containing lines such as: “Look at the president he shape-shifted man, look at the primeminister he shape-shifted man, they all inhuman, they all snakes within”.

On “Say Yes”, Talib Kweli prides himself that he: “Speaks to the people like Barack Obama, they worship like black Madonna”.

Ghostface Killah continues his political commitment on “Toney Sigel aka The Barrel Brothers” with the line: “They say that my projects should undergo therapy, we never voted, we votin’ for Oprah, Obama, and Eric B.”

Common Sense uses a guest-spot on Jadakiss’s “Why” Remix to wonder: “Why is Bush acting like he trying to get Osama, Why don’t we impeach him and elect Obama.”

Hip hop pioneer Busy Bee and Elemental MC release “Al Sharpton is a ho”, dissing the once presidential hopeful.


Virginian superproducer Timbaland hosts a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. Snoop Dogg also contributes money to her campaign.

2008: When Barack Obama beats Hillary Clinton at the primaries in South Carolina, the DJ at the victory party plays “99 problems (but a bitch ain’t one)” by Jay-Z to some controversy.

It is rumoured that Barack Obama will try to get Jay-Z and Kanye West involved in his campaign as well.

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