Roll Out, Luda


"So drink some prune juice and let the shit go."


If you're in NYC this weekend, keep an eye out for Al Sharpton on the dance floor at 40/40. He'll be the one gripping a bottle of Moët, sandwiched in-between two supermodels with his tie loosened, sweating out his conk and hollering along with Fatman Scoop: "Single ladies, make noise!" You know why he'll be celebrating? Because his name isn't Bob Johnson, Jesse Jackson or Ludacris. Eight months and counting in this election cycle and we haven't heard a word out of Reverend Al about Obama, McCain or anything else that might force our friends at Fox News to work late.


Meanwhile, Ludacris is still on top in the rap game but might want to rethink his head-first leap into political punditry. He stepped on his own perfectly good verse by dropping a "B" on Hilly Clint. Then he threw a wheelchair shot at a guy with permanent injuries from taking beatdowns in a POW camp. I don't care how messed up the country is right now or how nicely Obama is flossing with European heads of state. Another couple of ill-conceived comments by 'Cris or Bob or Jesse, and next thing you know it's four years of the McCain show up in this piece.

I'm pre-nominating Sharpton for a combined VIBE, THE SOURCE and BET lifetime achievement award if he continues to lay low and it winds up being the difference in a narrow Obama victory. Count me among the pleasantly surprised that Sharpton apparently figured out early on that kneecapping Obama à la Tonya Harding is not a good long-term play.

Memo to Luda: I know you mean well, but Obama can still lose this thing. Very, very easily. Last time I checked, he's still black and this is still America. We've got war, recession and frosted-blond school teachers getting it on with little boys, and Obama is only up by a couple of percentage points in the polls. In the words of Teddy Riley, "It ain't over." We're a nation that elected George W. Bush—wait for it—twice. If you think just because Obama rocked the mic in Berlin, Germany that he's going to blow up in Berlin, Connecticut, think again. In case you haven't been paying attention, the outcome in November isn't going to hinge on gas-tax holidays, health-care plans or even Iraq exit strategies. In the end, it's going to come down to whether or not Main Street, U.S.A. says, "Hey, guess who's coming to dinner!" or "Wait a minute—we invited him to dinner?"

I'm not calling for censorship, but I am calling for "sense"-orship. Any chance these right-wing player haters get to bad mouth hip-hop and put Obama on blast at the same time is like Christmas and Jefferson Davis' birthday all rolled into one.

I'm up nights worrying that we're never going to see the Zamunda-style inauguration ceremony that I've been dreaming about with Jordin Sparks leading in the procession like Petey Pablo in Drumline, unless everyone chills. Seriously, I've been on the Luda bandwagon since he was talking about "in the garden, all in the dirt," but trust me, if McCain wins, Ludacris won't be getting an invite to the inaugural ball. Try to keep in mind that if Obama loses, Luda will still be rich, and he'll still have Tyra on speed dial. The rest of us, all we have to look forward to is a President Obama and these bills.

When Bill O'Reilly tried to take 'Cris down from his Pepsi endorsement over "Move…" a few years back, Luda served up the ultimate rejoinder—I nearly busted a gut the first time I saw the video for "Number One Spot." So I'm asking Ludacris to do like Q said on the intro and "put your mojo on it." Come up with something slightly more cutting edge than what you have now, and if Obama wins, we can save the diss tracks for the after party.


For the first time in American history, an entire community, from sea to shining sea, is being asked to stay on message for a whole year to help a brotha get elected. During these last few months of the campaign, they're not going to "swift boat" Obama, they're going to "water board" his ass until he starts splitting infinitives and dancing a jig. So let's not fall for the okey-doke, people.

David Swerdlick writes about politics for PopMatters. He is a former contributor to Creative Loafing, and his writing has appeared in EbonyJet, AlterNet and The American Prospect.


David Swerdlick is an associate editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter