Famous for inviting to the White House misogynist rap artists who mix lyrics of drugs, one-night stands and violence, Barack Obama is now slamming pop culture for espousing bad values on young men.
Obama didn’t make the statements on a radio station where’s he’s regularly called in or a Hollywood gathering for the latest violent movie, but spoke at the “MBK Rising! My Brother’s Keeper Alliance” Summit in Oakland, Calif.. The former president explained how he felt about current-day culture.
“Let’s face it: A lot of hip-hop and rap music is built around me showing how I got more money than you, I can disrespect you and you can’t do nothing about it, I’m going to talk about you and punk you,’” Obama said during the event’s Q&A session (via the Washington Post). “Ironically, that actually shows the vulnerability that you feel!”
The former president didn’t feel that way in 2016 when he listed his favorite rappers on Sway in the Morning.
Obama showed his love Kendrick Lamar and others. “I think the young guys, Kendrick and Chance, are doing amazing work,” Obama said. “I love Drake, and the girls love Drake, and, you know, so, he’s commercially just doing great, and unbelievably talented.”
Obama went on to say he enjoyed an older rapper as well. “You know, Jay Z’s still the king. I mean, you know, he’s got a track record,” he told Sway. “Same with Kanye [West], so there’s a lot of talent out there.
But today, Obama may have second thoughts, or as some suggest, is playing to middle America and the #MeToo movement.
“We tend to rise to the expectations that are set for us,” the 57-year-old continued. “If a young boy is taught early on, ‘You are going to be kind to people, not bully people,’ that will have an impact. If you say, ‘You treat young women with respect. They are not objects. They are humans with the same aspirations and desires, and they are just as worthy of respect as you are,’ that has an impact.
“We’ve got to set that tone early in life,” he noted.
Earlier in the discussion, Obama — who was joined on-stage by NBA star Steph Curry — pointed out to the room full of teenagers that, “If you are really confident about your financial situation, you probably are not going to be wearing an eight-pound chain around your neck because you know, ‘I got bank. I don’t have to show you how much I’ve got because I feel good.'”
He added: “If you are very confident about your sexuality, you don’t have to have eight women around you twerking … because [you know], ‘I’ve got one woman, who I am very happy with. And she’s a strong woman.’”
Obama was in attendance for the two-day summit, which marked the five year anniversary since the former president launched “My Brother’s Keeper” — an initiative that aims to “address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.”