Ben Carson’s New Radio Ad: Hip-Hop for the GOP
Policy + Politics

Ben Carson’s New Radio Ad: Hip-Hop for the GOP

© CHRIS KEANE / Reuters

Apparently Ben Carson does rap music.

ABC News got its hands on the retired neurosurgeon and current Republican frontrunner’s upcoming radio ad, a 60-second track featuring rapper Aspiring Mogul.

According to Carson’s campaign spokesman, Doug Watts, the ad is targeting the “urban market,” especially young African-Americans – a demographic not often courted by Republican candidates. The ad seeks to widen Carson’s appeal with this subset by “talking to them in a language that they prefer and in a cultural format that they appreciate.”

Related: Trump Blasts Carson as a ‘Total Loser’ in Pulled ‘SNL’ Promo

The $150,000 ad, airing Friday in eight markets, urges listeners to “vote, vote” while uplifting lines from Carson’s speeches play in the background, ending with Aspiring Moguls, uh, memorable line: “Vote and support Ben Carson for our next president and be awesome. If we want to get America back on track, we got to vote for Ben Carson - matter of fact.”

It’s hard to imagine Jay-Z losing any sleep over those lyrics, or the performance. The whole thing feels a little like a lazy “Saturday Night Live” sketch.

Aside from the sheer unorthodoxy of a hip-hop ad for a Republican candidate, the ad is a surprising move by Carson considering his criticism of hip-hop culture in an interview earlier this year.

In that interview with New York’s WBLS radio station, Carson claimed that rap music and political correctness is destroying black communities, saying “Why were we able to get through [slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation]? Because of our faith, because of our family, because of our values, and as we allow the hip-hop community to destroy those things for us, and as we grasp onto what's politically correct and not what is correct, we continue to deteriorate."