Surprise presidential frontrunner Ben Carson is continuing his unusual campaign with an unusual ad – at least for a Republican primary: a radio ad mixing Carson’s speeches with rap music, airing in black urban radio markets.
The rapper, and minister, who goes by Aspiring Mogul previously produced a 4-minute pro-Carson song called “Republican Rap” in September, which Carson plugged on his Facebook page. Carson was so impressed he turned to him to create a song for the new radio ad called “Freedom.”
Ben Carson Teams Up With Rapper Aspiring Mogul
The lyrics are, shall we say, straight-forward: “Vote and support / Ben Carson / For our next president / It’d be awesome / If we want to get America / back on track / We gotta vote Ben Carson / a matter of fact.”
But the bulk of ad features Carson’s uplifting oratory, laid over Aspiring Mogul’s beats, such as “I’m very hopeful that I’m not the only one who’s willing to pick up the baton of freedom. Because freedom is not free, and we must fight for it every day.”
Ben Carson Runs In Black Markets, Not In Republican Strongholds
ABC News reports that his campaign will spend $150,000 so the ad can “air for two weeks in Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Birmingham, Alabama, Jackson, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee and Little Rock, Arkansas.”
None of those states are early primary states. And in the 2012 Republican primaries, there are almost no African-American voters. Only in Arizona and Florida did the white share of the Republican primary vote drop below 90 percent. And in several states, the black vote was too small for exit pollsters to determine which candidate they supported most.
So why run this ad at all?
Carson wants to be able to show how he can run a more effective general election campaign than his Republican rivals. As ABC reports, “The Carson campaign is convinced that if he gets 20 percent of the black vote, Hillary Clinton would not win.”
But for now, Carson’s rap strategy doesn’t have to impress Democratic blacks. It has to impress Republican whites so they believe he can eventually impress Democratic blacks.