Republicans Lose NY House Seat to Democrat They Called a ‘Big-City Rapper,’ Which Is Now a Slur, I Guess

Photo: AP

Democrat Antonio Delgado has overcome Republican attempts to brand him as a “big-city rapper” and won the race for New York’s 19th Congressional District against incumbent Rep. John Faso.

I can’t believe I just typed that shit.

As the 19th is a swing district, this win could have real ramifications for New York in future elections.


Delgado, a Harvard Law grad and Rhodes scholar, ran on a platform of expanding health care—a sore spot for Faso that his Democratic opponents drilled into a couple months ago with “a political video showing the Republican incumbent hugging a young mother with a brain tumor and a spinal condition, and promising to protect her coverage of pre-existing conditions—only to vote for the Republican bill to repeal Obamacare weeks later,” reports the New York Times.

In retaliation, Republicans tried to get Delgado out of the paint by pointing to a decade-old, lo-fi video of him rappity-rapping.


I’m canceling politics. Y’all are all fired. Go home. Do not pass “Go.” Do not collect taxpayer money. Fools.


In an ad paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee, conservatives took acontextual clips of Delgado’s music, such as “Pray for Iraq,” which you have to be kind of an asshole to find offensive sans context (take that as a jab because it is), and a line with an f-bomb and the n-word, which, if we’re applying this broadly as a moral standard, would take our president clear out of the running as well.

Look. Ninety-nine percent of me wants to not even acknowledge this little sliver of Delgado’s past, and I’m not going to put too much of a spotlight on it because it’s absurd that this came up in the first place, but really—this conservative obsession with low-hanging fruit is exhausting. The sheer level of racist dog-whistling here—Rap! Black! Negro! Thug! Bad!—is ridiculous to the point of being comical.


Man, look. If we condemned everyone who had a brief past life as a rapper, let’s say I, ah, might not have a job right now. Nor would most of our staff, probably, but I’m likely not helping my case anymore.

I listened to some of the music in full, and it is, ah, maybe a hair more offensive than Christian rap. And maybe a hair better than Christian rap. And encourages involvement in U.S. politics. If you’re wondering if it’s any good, see above where I mentioned that this man attended Harvard Law and is now a politician. At least his backup career is working out and we’re better off as a country for it!


Also, just because I’m petty, I’ll point out here that “big-city” Delgado specifically mentions, in the video from which the ad takes visuals, that he is “Not from the city but I still make city noise” (emphasis mine). Delgado is from Schenectady, N.Y.

Do you fools listen to music or do you just skim through it?

Anyway, Republicans, that’s what the hell y’all get. Maybe Faso is going to hop back in the studio and drop a real diss track so he can make the charts next cycle.

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Natalie Degraffinried

Natalie Degraffinried is a staff editor for Kotaku.