With renowned painter Justin Bua‘s Legend of Hip-Hop‘s book finally in stores, SOHH reached out to find out why a portrait of U.S. President Barack Obama made the book’s final cut.
Bua feels the hip-hop community and Obama’s embrace of supporters like Diddy and Jay-Z ultimately link him into the rap game.
“Look, Obama is our first hip-hop president,” Bua told SOHH. “He was elected by the hip-hop generation and even though white America might not have noticed, [during the campaign], Obama was there brushing his shoulders off, referencing Jay-Z’s [‘Dirt Off Your Shoulders’] song. He was doing a lot of things that may have gone over the heads of middle America but he was clearly influenced by the culture. He clearly understands the culture. Even though he’s said, ‘Oh, I love jazz,’ we really know Obama knows the culture because he’s from the culture. From Chicago to Hawaii, hip-hop is pervasive. On top of that, we’re the ones that voted for him. Whether Obama was hip-hop or not, the hip-hop generation came out. Whether it was Diddy, Kanye West or Jay-Z, we came out and supported him. He was not only America’s first black president but he was America’s first hip-hop president.” (SOHH)
Last month, rap mogul Jay-Z said President Obama entered the presidency with ample problems after winning the 2008 election.
“I still think he is the best man for the job,” Jay said in an interview. “Yes, I think he got a raw deal and a bad economy. You wouldn’t be given anything you can’t handle so he must be really special, because he has a lot of work to do!” (E! Online)
In August, Jay named President Obama the second coolest person in the world next to him.
“The president is like the second coolest person in the world,” Jay said in an interview with Angie Martinez on August 1st, jokingly naming himself the first. “[Next to?] I mean, come on. Don’t make me say it, Ang. [laughs] Don’t make me say it Angie. [Does he react?] Yeah. Yeah, he’s very humble. Yes. It’s weird. I love it. [Do I react to him?] Definitely. [He’s the only one I react to,] off top [of my head.] 100 percent…Who you are puts a lot of pressure on regular relationships because it’s not a regular relationship. People begin to see you differently.” (Hot 97)
Despite Jay’s co-signs, the president has received backlash from Grammy-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco who labeled him the nation’s biggest terrorist and Mobb Deep’s Prodigy.
“My view on [Obama] is that, number one, you can’t be a president of the United States unless you’re a part of this bloodline that they got going on that goes all the way back to European royalty,” P explained in an interview. “So, they got this bloodline going on and whether people believe it or not, it’s very real. You will not be an American president unless you are linked and a part of this bloodline. Obama is…From what I see, whether he knows it or not, he’s down with this whole conspiracy to rule the world. He’s a part of it. To brainwash people, to kill people, genocide, everything that goes on out here that’s so fantastic you really don’t want to believe it, he’s a part of it.” (Alex Jones)
Check out Prodigy speaking on President Obama below: