Shortly after Antonio Delgado won the Democratic primary in New York's 19th congressional district, the New York Post uncovered that, before his current job as a corporate attorney, he released a rap album with provocative and sometimes profane lyrics, under the moniker "AD the Voice."
The incumbent Rep. John Faso quickly criticized Delgado for "very troubling and offensive song lyrics" that "paint an ugly and false picture of America." And a few days later, the Republican Super PAC linked to the House leadership, Congressional Leadership Fund, broadcast a radio ad excoriating Delgado's lyrics.
Congressional Leadership Fund Calls Delgado's Raps "Vile" and "Anti-American"In the ad, the narrator begins by informing listeners, in a disgusted tone, that Delgado "not long ago ... was a rapper in Los Angeles," suggesting that CLF's political consultants believe that fact with rankle the largely white electorate of upstate New York.
A small snipped of Delgado's music is played, with a scatological curse word bleeped out. "Delgado's raps were vile," asserts the narrator, "a sonic blast of hateful rhetoric and anti-American views. His words weaponized to insult anyone who disagreed. Delgado minimized the 9/11 tragedy, mocked the war on terrorism. His song, 'Dead Presidents,' attacked America's founding principles as, quote, inherently flawed." After noting that he moved to New York City to become a lawyer (since his rap career was "going nowhere"), the narrator closes by saying Delgado has "New York City values" and is "not for us."
Delgado Fights Back Against "Feeding Into Racial BiasesThe ad's harsh depiction of Delgado's lyrics -- which the ad largely does not air or directly quote -- appears to go beyond the New York Post's characterization of them, which itself was fairly negative. For example, Delgado's reference to 9/11 and terrorism was a criticism of the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina, posing the question, "Why the response wasn’t as fast as 9/11?” and calling the poverty the "purest form of terrorism."
Delgado, in the New York Post, called criticism his lyrics "a willful and selective misreading of my work for political purposes" and later accused Faso of "feeding into racial biases."