Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) told NowThisNews on Wednesday that he loves “so-called gangsta rap,” and especially hip-hop group Public Enemy, because he feels the song “Fight the Power” somehow mirrors his own struggles in Washington, D.C. and the scandals of the Obama administration.
“This is a song that came out really, if you really get down to it, in many ways reflects the conservative message of having a heavy-handed federal government, of a party where…” he said, trailing off. “Chuck D and I may disagree on certain philosophies of government — but I think at the end of the day, and this is where I take my love of hip-hop music, of where you can see there have been issues with heavy-handed law enforcement, like the Department of Justice like we see now with the AP, or heavy-handed government in and of itself.”
Chuck D and Public Enemy were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, becoming just the fourth rap group to be honored by the museum. Chuck D has also spoken out in favor of President Barack Obama’s endorsement of same sex marriage, although he’s not an outspoken supporter of the president’s by any means. He also recently headed up a project called Operation Skid Row, a grassroots group that distributes donations to homeless people.
Radel, on the other hand, is a former journalist and radio host born in Cincinnati, currently serving his first term in Congress. He was one of the first members of the House to agree with a right-wing blogger that President Barack Obama should maybe get impeached over his support for an assault weapons ban. He was also avidly in favor of the so-called “sequestration” budget cuts that have slashed unemployment benefits, cut patient access to life-sustaining health care, reduced funding for public housing and education, and trimmed job placement services for veterans, to name just a few of its adverse effects.
Whatever rough-cut of the Republican Party’s attempt at re-branding for a younger, more diverse audience this represents, it should probably be scrapped before Chuck D finds out. He would now appear to be in a position to deal Republicans an even more vicious ribbing than Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello did last August, after Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) told The New York Times that he’s a longtime fan of the band that once recorded the definitive rock cover of NWA’s “Fuck the Police.”
While those unfamiliar with Public Enemy’s lyrics might be forgiven for thinking that Rep. Radel hadn’t completely missed the message, those more familiar with the group’s music might recall their disenchantment with the very power structures of which Radel is a part, as evidenced by “Fight the Power,” which reminds listeners: “Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps; sample a look back and you look and find; nothing but rednecks for 400 years if you check.”
This video is from NowThisNews, published Thursday, May 16, 2013.