If, somehow, you haven’t already been exposed to the cocktail of delusion, inanity and insanity of the Utah State Legislature’s rap video, STOP reading now and watch it:
Why do stuffy, white Republicans always resort to rap music as a way to relate to youth or shatter the (not) misconception that they’re woefully out-of-touch with reality? Actually, why do they still do this? Because that’s been their go-to strategy since the ‘80s: “You say we need to reach younger voters? Let’s make a rap video. We need to appear hip or at least not hilariously clueless? Let’s make a rap video. Our party has a serious image (and policy and empathy) problem? Gimme a beet! (I love beets.) Call my nephew Caleb. He likes to listen to raps and make good videos on his iPhone.”
Now here we are, with a video explaining how a bill becomes a law, set to the tune of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. And the Utah Legislature has officially shit the bed in their ostensible goal.
Let’s look at just a few of the things that are horribly wrong with this A/V atrocity (overlooking the lawmakers’ clear struggles with rhymes and rhythm, of course). The tune is old. The execution is so ham-handed and lame that it can hardly claim to reference, or be aware of, white-hot ‘90s nostalgia. They use the verboten, childish Comic Sans font. But that’s kind of appropriate, since they’re treating their constituencies like children.
Seriously, do they not realize that this is a concept we learned fairly early in childhood thanks to Schoolhouse Rock and our overworked, underpaid 6th grade teachers—who explained it so much better? This was a waste of time, and therefore a waste of tax dollars.
Shockingly, they did get one thing right: It’s not a vertical video. (Readers, if you’re still shooting vids without rotating your phone 90 degrees and depriving your audience of the full picture, consider this a PSA. If a bunch of clueless politicians can get that right, you’re doing it very wrong.)
See below for what some local rappers had to say about the Leg’s bars. And since you’re gonna need some ear-bleach afterwards, go check out these dudes’ jams at the links provided.
“Where to start with this video? Half of the participants look like they’re being forced to rap against their will. The other half should be forced to stop. This is worse than those ward videos where they parody Taylor Swift to talk about modesty. Most of the lines didn’t rhyme at all. It’s like they wrote the whole thing through Mad Libs. It’s unfortunate. I would have given them a good deal on ghostwriting. Next time they want to avoid public humiliation on a national level, they should call a trained professional.”
“It’s kind of silly. Who are they tryin’ to reach? It seems like the legislators in the video are a little bit older. The only complaint I have about it is it’s just super off-beat. I’m pretty sure they weren’t even listening to the song when they filmed their parts. Like somebody just told them their lines and cut it to the music.”
“First, on behalf of all white people everywhere, I apologize. I mean, it is thoroughly unsurprising to me that a bunch of old white people can’t rap. But the idea that they’re not smart enough to find words that actually rhyme with ‘there’ strikes absolute terror into my heart. Shout-out to that one lady towards the end who has definitely at least watched some Fresh Prince and damn near found the beat. ‘It... goes... up...!’ All in all, this is worse than a local-access used-car dealer commercial.”
LAM (Lloyd A. McIntosh)
“Terrible. Worst rappers in the world. Lol. But it was fun and a funny way to market their agenda. I’m sure that was the point, so they hit the nail on the head with what they were going for.”