Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" may have been one of those politically radical songs to crack the American mainstream, but apparently Rep. Trey Radel (R-Naples) thinks that, "really, if you really get down to it, in many ways reflects the conservative message."
Yes, Radel has decided to join Marco Rubio as the latest hip-hop fan in the Republican party, and gave an interview to Now This News about his love of old school hip-hop.
Radel does seem to have pretty good taste in old-school hip hop. Who's gonna argue the importance of Eric B. & Rakim? But it's Radel's appropriation of hip-hop for his conservative agenda that's mind-numbing. He somehow turns "Fight the Power" into an attack on Attorney General Eric Holder because he believes he represents heavy handed law enforcement.
To think that "Fight the Power" in anyway reflects the modern "conservative message" is mind boggling. For one thing, the song came out in 1989 (as the first line in the song reminds you) after eight years of Ronald Reagan and months into George H.W. Bush's term. Of course, to even reduce the song down to party lines would be a mistake. It's pretty clear "the power" is America's lingering institutional racism and the sustainment of white privilege. Those aren't exactly things the conservative movement is willing to fight against (or even acknowledge the existence of).
We barely even have to wonder what Public Enemy's Chuck D. thinks of this. The man was a fierce critic of George W. Bush and the Iraq war, expressed his opinion on the immigration debate in a song called "Tear Down this Wall," is anti-materialsim, pro-gay marriage, anti-corporation and formerly hosted a radio show on liberal network Air America.
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Radel admits that he has some "political differences" with Chuck D., but when he decides to appropriate D's trademark song as some sort of conservative anthem, we're pretty sure he barely understood the actual meaning of the song in the first place.