Thursday, April 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rubio provides rap for GOP

Maureen Dowd

By
From page A11 | February 15, 2013 | Leave Comment

Not long ago, scrolling for a movie, I saw that “Notorious” was on.

How can you resist Cary Grant as an American spy in Rio recruiting Ingrid Bergman to seduce and betray a Nazi played by Claude Rains?

But it turned out to be a very different “Notorious,” one about the rise of gangsta rapper Biggie Smalls, aka The Notorious B.I.G., his artistic relationship with Sean “Puffy” Combs at Bad Boy Records in New York and the bloody East vs. West feud between Biggie and Tupac Shakur, a star in L.A. who spent his final year at Death Row records.

Like the 1946 “Notorious,” the 2009 gangsta rap saga offered sex, strife, danger, gats, Champagne, a strong immigrant mother and trust issues. Crack replaced uranium as the perilous substance. The movie climaxed with Tupac getting shot in a car on the Las Vegas Strip in 1996 and then, in retaliation six months later, Biggie getting shot in a car in L.A.

Little did I know, as I brushed up on gangsta rap history, that the topic would soon spice up the overture to the 2016 presidential race.

Gangsta rap used to be a reliable issue for politicians, but they were denouncing it. Now Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is praising it – and right at the moment when Republicans are pushing the argument that guns don’t kill people; it’s a culture glorifying guns and violence that kills people.

The ubiquitous 41-year-old – who’s on the cover of Time as “The Republican Savior” – looked as if he needed some saving himself as he delivered the party’s response to the State of the Union address in English (and Spanish). He seemed parched, shaky and sweaty, rubbing his face and at one point lunging off-camera to grab a bottle of water. He needed some of the swagger reflected on the Spotify playlist he recently released featuring Tupac’s “Changes,” as well as Flo Rida, Pitbull, The Sugar Hill Gang, Kanye, Big Sean, devoted Obama supporters Jay-Z and Will.I.Am, and a Foster the People song about “a cowboy kid” who finds a gun in his dad’s closet and goes after “all the other kids with the pumped up kicks.”

Rubio told GQ that he loved the documentary on Tupac, “Resurrection,” and his song, “Killuminati,” and that 30-year-old hip-hop is now “indistinguishable” from pop. (Sorry, Tipper.)

He said that Tupac, who loved Shakespeare and called “Romeo and Juliet” ”serious ghetto,” wrote poetry. Tupac’s “Changes” lyric – “You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do what we gotta do to survive” – could be an anthem for the busted Republican Party.

Maybe Rubio is siding with West Coast rap in an early bid to nail down California’s 55 electoral votes. But in The Atlantic Wire, Elspeth Reeve argues that, message-wise, it would make more sense for the ambitious GOP senator to go with B.I.G., who had “up-from-his-bootstraps small-business acumen” and a mom who immigrated from Jamaica and ended up, as Biggie rapped, pimping an Acura with “minks on her back.” Tupac’s mother and stepfather were Black Panthers.

Asked by BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith about this recently, Rubio said that he was in school at the peak of Death Row music and preferred it.

He demurred when asked if he had learned any life lessons from Tupac – “I don’t listen to music for the politics of it” – and noted that mostly, rappers were not “condoning a certain lifestyle” as much as reporting on “what life was like in South Central.”

One-upping Paul Ryan and his heavy metal playlist, Rubio noted that the real name of Pitbull – also born in Miami to Cuban parents – is Armando and that Tupac has a lyric citing Bill Clinton and “Mr. Bob Dole.”

In 1995, Dole railed that human dignity is demeaned when “sexual violence is given a catchy tune.” And, in 1992, Dan Quayle met with the daughter of a Texas state trooper who was fatally shot by a man who said he’d been listening to Tupac’s “2pacalypse Now,” with lyrics about “droppin’ the cop;” Quayle said such songs should not be published.

Rush Limbaugh mocked Tupac when he was shot in 1994 outside a New York studio where Biggie was recording; and he recently re-broadcast his 20-year-old rant about America losing its soul: “Look at 2 Live Crew’s ‘Me So Horny.’ You know what that’s about? It’s about the destruction of the female vagina by a bunch of men having a good time.” (Sounds like a description of retrogressive Republicans in 2012; when the Violence Against Women Act passed the Senate on Tuesday, Rubio voted against it.)

But other Republicans are so frantic to make their party less white and more hip that Rubio’s exegeses on gangsta rap are music to their ears.

Right now, Marco is like a paper doll, trying on different outfits of style and substance as the party oohs and aahs. As Nicolle Wallace, the former adviser to Sarah Palin, gushed to George Stephanopoulos: “He’s modern. He knows who Tupac is. He is on social media.” And “he’s close to the younger Bushes.”

Who could ask for anything more?

Maureen Dowd is a columnist for The New York Times.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Congressman talks Travis, water

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Travis lines up 2 days of aviation excellence

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Appreciate how good we have it now

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

Garamendi talks love, pro football and Peace Corps

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Author to sign books at Vacaville Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Kroc Center women schedule inaugural Taster Tea

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Dixon May Fair has deals on advance tickets

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Juneteenth committee extends vendors, exhibitors deadline

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Congressional Art Competition is back

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Spilled tomato juice case set for trial

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
Theme park welcomes seal pup

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
Docents to lead paddling tour in marsh

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
Weather for Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
Fairfield police log: April 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: April 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: April 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Syrian activists accuse Assad of new gas attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Murder charge for Vallejo man in head-on crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California bill reignites affirmative action fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Andy Lopez protest leads to school campus lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Navy Cross bestowed on heroic Marine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Airport official: Teen had no clue he was in Maui

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

First lady announces one-stop job site for vets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Rail safety effort marred by squabbling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Small Wyoming town evacuated after gas explosion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Bashtag: NYPD Twitter campaign backfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Soldier convicted in WikiLeaks case gets new name

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Gun carry rights expanded in Ga. under new law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
Palestinian rivals to try again for unity deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Lawyer: US man held in Cuba seeks to go home soon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Captain who left doomed ferry had 40 years at sea

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Russian social media CEO quits, flees country

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Amid Russia warning, Ukraine is in a security bind

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
State senators get ethics training after scandals

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 4 Comments

.

Opinion

Be the first and give specifics

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
What we can do about crime

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 7 Comments

Castro at odds with mentor on deportations

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

 
Some Earth Day boos and cheers

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11

Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History for April 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

When Joe’s mad at me, he also ignores my 7-year-old son

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for April 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Singer Chris Brown’s DC trial delayed for months

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Performing dogs go big after $1 million TV prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Amazon snares classic shows in deal with HBO

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Jodie Foster weds artist Alexandra Hedison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

Girls soccer update: Armijo, Vanden on way to playoffs

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Mustangs swim to sweep of Indians

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Warriors, Clippers to meet in Oakland for Game 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Sharks confident with chance to sweep LA Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Prep softball: Vanden rolls to 14-0 win over Fairfield

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Prep badminton: Unbeaten Mustangs cruise past Crushers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Prep boys golf: Vikings suffer SCAC loss to Panthers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Sanchez’s slam in 11th helps Giants beat Rox 12-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Prep track: Armijo girls get win in MEL 4-way meet

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Perez helps Rangers sweep A’s with 3-0 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Party a century in the making for Wrigley Field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
A’s reject 10-year Coliseum lease offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Seahawks to open NFL season vs. Packers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Emmert supports more efficient, effective NCAA

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Phelps having fun in his return to swimming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Suns’ Dragic honored as NBA’s Most Improved Player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Oldest living ex-MLB player dies in Cuba at 102

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Business

Wellness programs grow more popular with employers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Buffett disapproves of Coca-Cola’s pay plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Amazon snares classic shows in deal with HBO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
US stocks edge lower after a six-day rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

Sales of new US homes plunge 14.5 percent in March

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

Phyllis J. Miller

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jean Sophia Ruckdeshel

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Robert James Carty Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dondi Martin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard Of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9