Update: I’m eating crow on this. Earlier today I posted an excerpt from an interview with the Chicago rapper, Lupe Fiasco, who gained some midlevel fame with his “Kick Push” song. Setting up the post, I noted that Fiasco generally has decent politics (the link is to his close association with the late historian Howard Zinn). In the interview Fiasco compared Barack Obama to Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. Fiasco, responding to a question about why he had a line in a new song “Words I Never Said” that dissed Obama (“Gaza Strip was getting bombed but Obama didn’t say shit/That’s why I didn’t vote for him, next one either”), responded:
I love Obama, and I love the fact that it’s a black president of the United States of America, but he’s not the first Black president,” Fiasco told Gigwise.com. “Robert Mugabe is a black president too so let’s not get to talking about precedents being set. The fact that he’s Black and American, that’s different. But that it’s anything special beyond that, that just because of that everything’s going to be a utopia, then that’s not true …
At the time, I asked what’s Mugabe got to do with it? And likened Fiasco to R&B singer Akon.
Well, I did not read it thoroughly and responded too quickly.
As readers @frenchie and @Ricci point us (below), actually Fiasco is displaying good politics that are not inconsistent with his earlier stance: Fiasco’s remarks is a necessary critique of the limits of identity politics and black nationalism. They’re right. I ate the earlier version of this post.–Sean Jacobs