Andrew Sullivan called my attention to the American Enterprise Institute’s list of the 21 “greatest conservative rap songs.” Let’s just say that it would not look out of place in The Onion. That they actually appear to be serious makes if it infinitely more amusing. To make the list, says author Stan Veuger, a song must “express support not just for pro-family social values, but also for small government and peace through strength.” So naturally, number 21 is from Justin Bieber:
21. Justin Bieber featuring Busta Rhymes – Drummer Boy (2011)
The first song on the list — ranked this low mostly because of its disregard for the second criterion mentioned earlier, musical quality — is a collaborative effort by teen idol Justin Bieber and past-his-heyday rapper Busta Rhymes. A cover of “The Carol of the Drum,” the classical Christmas song by Katherine Kennicott Davis, the song tells the story of a poor drummer boy who pays tribute to the baby Jesus (“Come they told me, pa rum pa pum pum / A newborn king to see, pa rum pa pum pum.”)
But this is not just an overt endorsement of the Gospel. When Mr. Bieber turns to discussing the policy implications of 1 John 3:17 (“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”), it is private charity, not government redistribution that he sees as the way forward:
It’s crazy how some people say, say they don’t care,
When there’s people on the street with no food; it’s not fair.
It’s about time for you to act merrily;
It’s about time for you to give to charity.
So I think some of you need to act bold;
Give a can to a drive, let’s change the globe.
This is what “asking the rich to pay their fair share” should look like — not coercion through the tax system, but an appeal to humanity’s moral core.
Words fail. And wait until you see #19 on the list:
19. Eminem – Role Model (1999)
Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known by his stage name Eminem, grew up in Detroit, probably the single city to have been ravaged the most thoroughly by Democratic Party malfeasance and malgovernance. It should not come as a surprise, then, that this song from his major label debut, The Slim Shady LP, released during the Clinton administration, contains a vicious attack on the Clintons. In a mere four verses, he highlights Bill’s adultery and tenuous drug use claims, while also dedicating some choice words to his wife:
So if I said I never did drugs
That would mean I lie AND get f***** more than the President does
Hillary Clinton tried to slap me and call me a pervert
I ripped her f****** tonsils out and fed her sherbet (B****!)
This is, of course, not necessarily how a role model should sound, and Mr. Mathers acknowledges as much. Well aware of his own imperfections, he carefully explains that public figures are not per se examples to be followed, a message that should resonate with conservatives concerned about mainstream culture:
I get a clean shave, bathe, go to a rave
Die from an overdose and dig myself up out of my grave
My middle finger won’t go down, how do I wave?
And this is how I’m supposed to teach kids how to behave?
Yes, the 19th greatest conservative rap song of all time says of Hillary Clinton “I ripped her fucking tonsils out and fed her sherbet (BITCH!).” How the hell is this not a parody?