DJ Bobby Black - Crack Addiction (Cover Artwork)

DJ Bobby Black

Crack Addiction (2009)


On Henry Rollins' Talk Is Cheap spoken word album, released in the early years of the Bush Administration, he was heard to say, "Wouldn't it be really bitchin' if you had a political leader who was running for the big office [...] where you could like them as much as you like your favorite musician? So instead of like, 'Okay, time to vote,' you could be like, 'Fuckin' A, this guy fuckin' rocks! This guy's awesome!' It would be like if you were voting for Ozzy, or Bob Dylan, or someone really bitchin'; 'This fuckin' guy is so cool, I can't wait for this, it's gonna be bitchin'!' I'd love to be stripped of my political cynicism for just one time; it would be so refreshing to be so into somebody and to trust them and know that they want to do the right thing."

As we all know, since that time there has been quite the dramatic changing of the guard in Washington, and last November, it seems for a lot of people, Rollins' seemingly far-off hypothetical had come true. We've entered into a very different political climate than when Henry's words were originally spoken, and with that comes a number of very interesting byproducts. Obamamania spawned a bootleg merchandising frenzy of Simpsons-in-the-early-'90s-like proportions, with everything from stickers to Chia Pets, to T-shirts depicting the entire Obama Family as Jedis being released for consumption by the eager masses. Easily the strangest, however, comes from Atlanta's DJ Bobby Black. What he's done is constructed a widely distributed hip-hop mixtape (I found mine in a chain store, in the suburbs), which mashes up the music and lyrics of popular rapper Jay-Z with the widely revered speeches of President Barack Obama, and called it (what else?) Crack Addiction. Needless to say, it's hands down the most baffling release of 2009.

Musically, it functions almost as a Jay-Z greatest hits package, with many recognizable hits such as "H to the Izzo" and "In My Lifetime" all edited to now include selections from Barack Obama's pre-election speeches. Contributions from other rappers are present, but sparse; 50 Cent's "I get Money" and Lil Wayne 's"A Milli" are both non-ironically included. The mixtape is closed out by a musical rendition of one of President Obama's early "Yes We Can" speeches, done by R&B singer, Colbert Report favorite and Mark Oliver Everett nemesis, John Legend. As one would imagine, Barack's clips sound out of place to a comical degree. It would seem from his intro and outro that DJ Bobby Black's heart is in the right place; it's just that nobody sat him down and told him that mixing modern gangsta rap with the first black president's inspirational speeches and calling it Crack Addiction is a terrible, terrible idea.

I can only hope that DJ Bobby Black turns out to be a pioneer in this new genre of hip-hop/political speech mash-ups. Personally, I've always wanted to hear Martin Luthor King's "I Have a Dream" spliced over "Face Down, Ass Up" by 2 Live Crew, or perhaps FDR's Pearl Harbor address to the tune of Three 6 Mafia's "Slob on My Knob." The possibilities are endless.