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I Love You, Let's Meet » hip-hop Congressional campaign on Myspace

hip-hop Congressional campaign on Myspace

Other candidates have MySpace pages, but Joe Ford Jr. of Tennessee uses only MySpace, no Web page. When the page opens, it launches the campaign rap, They Said It.

They Said It’s the usual empty dumpling of a hip-hop lyric — “My rapping/beats/ weaponry/music-clothing-movies empire is better than yours, nyah, nyah, nyah” — stuffed with the tiniest morsel of stump speech. The “have nots and ain’t gots” in “gold grills, dreadlocks” are invited to help Ford “spread his hustle” and “do this thing.”

Candidate Ford elaborates on that platform with a Myspace collage of links to news stories and You Tube videos (Malcolm X, Tupac); and an “Official Biography!!!” His Myspace groups are topped by Bringing Down the Man and Support Your Troops; his heroes include God, Jesse Ventura, and Bill Clinton.
Poking around his site, it hit me how Myspace’s popularity contest format and 89 million young, impressionable members is ideal for politics. The site, so perfect for launching pop stars, is crying out for a scary candidate to brainwash “Voters ages 18-40 who feel disenfranchised by the current government system” — the first target on Ford’s “Who I’d Like to Meet” list.

Ford is probably not the Memphisian Candidate to succeed where Howard Dean failed. Even if he’s right in extending the age of MySpace adolescence up to 40 (yikes), Ford will certainly need more than his current 1299 friends by the election August 6. Yes, his Myspace friends do include Dwyane Wade, who has 2,637 friends, among them Shaq and Allen Iverson. If anyone famous in the chain engaged in Myspace the way some bands have, the Ford candidacy presumably could spread virally among young Tennesseans.

But August isn’t far off. And Ford needs the kids, because he sure isn’t sucking up to the grown-ups — his campaign’s like something out of Wild in the Streets. His favorite movies include the slacker/stoner trilogy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Dazed and Confused, and Office Space. (Adolescent, yes, but aye like them too!) With friends like Ya Nigga Wanna Wife Me, the fabulously scabrous King Willie page mocking Memphis’s mayor (you really ought to click this link just for the Clinton mammography graphic, again, adolescent but I cracked up) and various stripper-looking ladies who write Ford how much they enjoyed seeing him last night, baby, he’s operating in some post-Monicagate political space that’s stupid, lowest-common-denominator and pandering, but WAY less hypocritical. A lot of these guys ARE in it for the pussy!

If everyone threw their dirt out like this, we wouldn’t have campaigns undone by the dirt-diggers. Ford may be deeply trifling, but he’s not going to be undone by allegations of womanizing or screaming at a rally.

The link to Ford’s site came from this amazing PC Week overview of social networking.

Ford was only one of the fascinating things in there, I hadn’t known about PeerTrainer or Tagworld (I’m sick of linking, go check it out. Guarantee there’ll be SOMEthing you didn’t know about among its multiple jumps).

1 Comment so far

  1. Joe Ford Jr. on August 27th, 2006

    Hello! How are you doing? Thanks for posting that topic. Out of all the media throughout the campaign, your comment is my favorite one. I did not win, but I came in 3rd out if 15 candidates with 9,334 votes. It was a great time and some of your observations in the article were direct on point.

    Take care,
    Joe Ford, Jr.