The Gangsta Rap Campaign Attack

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Competing in a three-way Republican primary, Tennessee congressional hopeful George Flinn has become the subject of an unlikely campaign to portray him as a gangsta rap overlord.

The latest campaign attack in Tennessee’s 8th district has assailed Flinn for owning a Memphis radio station, Hot 107.1 FM, which bills itself as broadcasting “Non-Stop Hip-Hop,” Politico‘s Alex Isenstadt reports. Behind the offensive is the brother of Ronald Kirkland, one of Flinn’s primary opponents, who’s spent nearly $1 million on ad expenditures in the campaign. “A TV ad hammers Flinn for broadcasting music that ‘promotes gang violence, drug abuse, and insults women,’ while a companion mailer accuses him of bringing ‘filthy gangster rap into our district,'” writes Isenstadt.

Commercial hip-hop has become so mainstream and anodyne that it’s hard to see the attempt to paint Flinn as the next Suge Knight gaining much traction, even in a GOP Tennessee primary. In a neighboring district, in fact, another House candidate made a memorable attempt to use his hip-hop cred to his advantage. Behold Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), who broke it down for supporters in the majority-black 9th district:

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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