arrow grid linear view icon
The College of Arts Sciences

Obama and hip-hop: a breakup song

September 24, 2015

Travis Gosa, an assistant professor of Africana Studies, and co-author Erik Nielson, an assistant professor of liberal arts at the University of Richmond, explore the relationship between Obama and hip-hop in the Washington Post article, “Obama and hip-hop: a breakup song.”  

Gosa and Nielson, whose book “The Hip Hop & Obama Reader” will be published in October, say that Obama's ties to hip-hop were once strong, but have significantly weakened. Rap was played at Obama’s 2008 campaign events and he referenced lyrics in his speeches, but when his 2012 campaign was released, there was not a single rap song and many of the issues he promised to address have also gone by the wayside.

“As we approach the 2016 election, however, this relationship is all but gone,” say Gosa and Nielson, which leaves the country wondering whether young people will go to the polls as they did in 2008 and 2012.