Hip-Hop Community Reacts to Obama’s State of the Union
President Barack Obama delivered his first State of the Union address on Wednesday night (Jan. 27) and some of the brightest (and most beloved) minds in the hip-hop community were ready to give their two cents on the speech. Most of the commentary was in agreement that Obama genuinely strove to strike a balance in the middle of the political spectrum by once again emphasizing the need for bipartisanship.
Russell Simmons, hip-hop mogul and owner/political director of Global Grind, was one of the most vocal commentators on the speech as he participated in a live chat on his website and updated his popular Twitter account. “Good speech,” he wrote on Twitter. “Stood up strong. Some controversial subjects … Even talked about gay rights. ‘We don’t quit. I don’t quit.’ What a line — middle of the road speech — he is trying to bring people together.”
The “We don’t quit” line was a pretty big hit all around, and The Roots‘ Questlove struck a solid parallel with Mos Def as he attributed the line (or spirit therein) to the Boogie Man in the mid 90s. “We don’t quit,” relayed Questo. “I don’t quit.’ — Mos Def 1996, Barack Obama 2010.”
Jean Grae joined in on the commentary with some of her trademark hilarious quick-take satire. Grae started by taking it upon herself to translate the meaning behind the State of Union speech. “Let’s try some f—— common sense … yeah … novel idea.” (He ain’t say “f——”) LMAO …” she tweeted during Obama’s speech. “If Joe Biden could just place his teeth over Nancy’s face … it would only be half as distracting.”
“I don’t share my political views,” Grae cleared up, before tweeting further. “I just entertain Republican translation?” She then went on to interpret the Republican’s response to the State of the Union given by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. “Good evening … I’m a c—. I have kids. They’re wack. Turn page,’ she tweeted. Her translation of the Republicans attack on unemployment? “Hey man. People not working? NOT COOL. I wanna get people jobs. Jobs would be better.’ We hear ya, Jean.