If you are a rapper trying to win the approval of an MSNBC host, what do you do? Simple. Tweet him your song celebrating the death of Ronald Reagan.
On July 17, 2012, rapper Killer Mike tweeted Toure, host of MSNBC’s 3 PM show The Cycle, boasting to Toure about his song “Reagan,” which ends with the words “I’m glad Reagan dead.” Toure rewarded him with a retweet and an endorsement.
Killer Mike’s initial tweet read: “I am very confident no other rap song articulates the point of your Hip Hop Reagan article as my song "Reagan" @toure. You shud check it.”
Toure agreed with Killer Mike’s assessment, retweeting Killer Mike’s boast to his followers. Toure later retweeted another boast of Killer Mike’s, including the words “You’re right” in his retweet: “You're right. RT @KillerMikeGTO: I feel like@Toure shuda mentioned my song Reagan it says what he writes.”
The Twitter lovefest – or hatefest, as it were – came after Toure lamented in a July 13 Washington Post article that, “hip-hop also failed black America, and failed itself.” Hip-hop, Toure argued, was an accomplice in contributing to the drug culture that harmed the black community. But the real culprit was Ronald Reagan and America.
In his article, Toure played the race card, declaring that hip-hop was “a music and culture whose undercurrent remains black male anger at a nation that declared young black men monsters and abandoned them, killing any chance they had at the American Dream, ” and blasted what he called “the drug war’s hypocrisies.” Toure complained that Reagan “started the modern battle[against drugs] in 1982.”
In a similar vein, rapper Killer Mike came out with “Reagan,” which blasted every president from Reagan to Obama, but displayed a special antipathy for Reagan. Killer Mike vented his loathing of President Reagan and his associates in his song on several occasions, angrily rapping: “Oliver North introduced them to cocaine” and “But thanks to Reaganomics, prisons turned to profits.” His rap ended with a celebration of Reagan’s death: “I leave you with four words: I’m glad Reagan dead.”
Killer Mike has also expressed his hatred of Reagan in more tangible ways. In a Village Voice interview, Killer Mike said: “I threw a barbecue when Reagan died. Straight the f*** up—a Reagan's Dead Barbecue. Kept it negro as a motherf***er.” (No word on whether Toure brought the potato salad.)
Toure wasn’t the only media figure who approved of “Reagan.” Gawker’s Rich Juzwiah had earlier effusively praised “Reagan,” gushing: “wow, is it great to hear righteously indignant social commentary this bold in the virtually depoliticized forum of contemporary hip-hop. Reaganomics were such a scourge on the already disenfranchised that even decades later, they warrant rage.”
Loathing of Reagan and his legacy is practically a prerequisite for liberal journalists (when they aren’t bizarrely trying to claim his legacy). The Media Research Center has compiled a list of vicious attacks by journalists and by entertainers against the former president.
Still, the approval of a rap song which explicitly celebrates the death of Ronald Reagan exemplifies the propensity of media figures to conveniently ignore President Obama’s call for civility when the opportunity arises to bash conservatives.
(H/T Liz Thatcher)