Debate Rages Over Obama Hip-Hop Parody

Epithet-hurling Baracka Flacka Flames gets down in the 'hood
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2010 10:15 AM CDT

An epithet-laced hip-hop parody of President Obama has triggered furious debate: Is the hit YouTube video an "antidote" for Obama's popularity troubles among youth or an "anti-valentine" from those voters whose support the president craves, asks the Christian Science Monitor. The slick "Head of the State" video is a spoof of "Hard in Da Paint" by Atlanta hip-hop artist Waka Flocka Flame, and it features "Baracka Flacka Flames" (aka James Davis) getting down and dirty in the 'hood—smoking pot, petting a pit bull, and denigrating everyone from Michelle to Oprah Winfrey.

Writing for the New York Times, Jon Caramanica has plenty of positive things to say, calling it a "witty and incisive ... first-rate parody," that's "elevated to something greater than a vulgar joke by Mr. Davis’ nearly pitch-perfect impression." What's more, "it’s seemingly an acknowledgment by the filmmakers that racial stereotypes still shape how some people perceive the first couple." But other critics view the video as a shocking attack revealing profound anger at the president. Waka Flocka Flame's manager requested that the "disrespectful" work be removed from a hip-hop website, saying, "That’s not a positive image for us, period, as African Americans." (More Barack Obama stories.)

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