Mayoral Candidate Campaigns Via Rap Song

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Taking it to the streets takes on a new meaning in the Baltimore mayor’s race.  Political reporter Pat Warren reports a candidate put his message to the tune of the urban voter.

Baltimore mayoral candidate Frank Conaway gave his campaign a hip hop beat.  Conaway posted the rap song on his Conaway For Mayor website.

“When we have these forums, we don’t have much time to define the other candidates, so I thought that maybe a rap would help me define them,” Conaway said.

But his definition is the definitive bad rap.  He refers to Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as “our first mistake” and “Stephanie Rawlings-Fake” and compares Otis Rolley to Governor Martin O’Malley.

Some of the candidates are taking it with good humor.  Realtor Jody Landers said it’s entertaining.  Otis Rolley’s campaign says it’s “in keeping with the style Conaway has exhibited in all of the debates.”

And while it’s true Frank’s got jokes, there’s also a serious side.

“What Conaway’s trying to do is trying to reach a young to middle age demographic that’s kind of working class,” said Lester Spence.

Spence is a professor of urban politics at Johns Hopkins University.

“It would be hokey if Frank were MC.  First thing I heard of this, I’m like, `Is Frank on the mic?’  But it’s not Frank on the mic.  He’s got some young Baltimore talent with really serious skills and with a serious political message.  That combination makes it legitimate but how voters take it, that’s the question,” Spence said.

Senator Pugh’s office says Conaway is busy insulting candidates while she’s out talking to voters.  Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s campaign called it a great gimmick.

To listen to the rap, click here.

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