Back in early 2004, Sean Combs gave rousing speech at the Rock The Vote Awards, during which he urged young voters to "get George Bush's ass out of office." The crazy part is that, four months later, Dubya and his wife would give the rap mogul a personal tour of the White House. Diddy was apparently in town for the Kennedy Center Honors, and after requesting a visit, was surprised to learn that his guides would be none other than the First Family themselves. "According to reports" (who knows how true this is), he told the Bushes "nice house" before leaving.
10 Other Rappers Who've Visited The White House
10 Other Rappers Who've Visited The White House
If you had to guess one current MC who'd be on this list, politically active RTJ member Killer Mike would be your safest bet. The Dungeon Family veteran has talked politics everywhere from CNN to Comedy Central, and more recently, interviewed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Last April, Mike was invited to the White House's prestigious Correspondents' Dinner by Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington, and we got a window into the high class event via his hilarious commentary on social media. Shoutout to him for at least contemplating becoming the second known person to blaze up in the White House (all props due to Willie Nelson).
Somewhat surprisingly, Common's presence at the White House in 2011 drew the most controversy of anyone on this list. Invited by Michelle Obama for a poetry showcase, the Chicago rapper was criticized by Fox News, Sarah Palin and others for a political line he rapped in a 2007 episode of Def Poetry ("Burn a Bush 'cause for peace he no push no button"), as well as his close friendship with the controversial Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Reading the outraged opinion pieces that appeared on Republican blogs in the wake of the announcement is still very entertaining.
In 2013, the Obamas hosted a tribute to Memphis soul music in the White House, bringing a ton of musicians in to cover tracks by Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Booker T. and the MG's, and others. Justin Timberlake, Alabama Shakes, Ben Harper, and Cyndi Lauper were among the performers, as well as onetime rapper Queen Latifah, who performed Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand The Rain." Unfortunately, unlike the Missy Elliott song that quotes Peebles' words, the classic hit doesn't feature any rapping.
Despite drawing Barak's ire for lyrics from his song "Politics As Usual," (sample: "Hillary hated on you, so that bitch is irrelevant"), Luda is a repeat White House visitor in the Obama administration. In 2009, he was at Correspondents' Dinner, and just a few months ago, he was back for a tour. According to the man himself on Instagram, as soon as Obama saw him, he yelled "LUDA!"
Doug E. Fresh
Human Beat Box Doug E. Fresh has become pretty good friends with Michelle Obama as a key player in her Let's Move! youth health initiative, even helping her out with some music for the campaign. Last year, he was invited to something called the "White House Easter Egg Roll," which judging by the video below is a pretty odd event.
Almost half of the rappers on this list showed up at 1600 Penn at the behest of Michelle, who rivals her husband in her love for hip hop. The last one is Wale, who showed up last year to speak at the FLOTUS' Beating The Odds education summit, which hosted 130 teens for a discussion of the transition from high school to college. The President apparently told Folarin, "My rapping skills are terrible. That’s one thing I can’t do is rap. I like rap but I cannot rap.”
Other than Killer Mike, Jay's your other safe bet on this list. After all, dude got permission to go to Cuba. He's now visited the White House on four separate occasions, the first time coming in 2009 as part of a group visit that also included athletes Grant Hill and Emmitt Smith. Beyoncé's accompanied him on the latter three visits, the most recent of which came last year for the First Lady's fiftieth birthday party.
Sean Don holds a unique honor on this list: he's the only person we know of who's actually performed a rap song at the White House. For the annual Easter Egg Roll of 2014, him and future boo Ariana Grande got onstage to perform their duet "Right There," and Sean made history in the process (and also got a chance to chat with Jim Carrey). Who'll be the next to drop bars in such close proximity to the oval office?
Yes, believe it or not, N.W.A.'s Eric Wright got a chance to step into the White House before his death in 1995. What's even more surprising is the event he attended: a Republican Senatorial Inner Circle luncheon. According to an LA Times article announcing the stunning news, Wright was invited by Senator Bob Dole after contributing $2,490 "to the Republican Party at the urging of Sen. Phil Gramm." It's kind of crazy to think that a member of one of the most controversial rap groups of all time was a Republican supporter, but he might have donated the money just to be the first rapper to visit the White House. Either that, or all of money Jerry Heller cheated from him turned him into a fiscal conservative. Watch some entertaining news coverage of Eazy's visit below.
Rockie Fresh Shares "The Night I Went To..." Cover Art & Tracklist
Chris Brown, Rick Ross, & Ed Sheeran will make guest appearances.
Kendrick Lamar's not the only rapper who's been a guest at the White House.
Yesterday, we learned that Kendrick Lamar fulfilled a wish he's had ever since the "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" remix ("In the White House with a mink/Running through that bitch like it's my house," although he didn't seem to be wearing any fur at the time), paying a visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave as a guest of one of his biggest fans, President Obama. He and his crew were given a tour, hitting a rap squat along the way, and making for a pretty historic moment. Knowing the Obama family's love for hip hop, though, he's far from the first MC to earn an invite to their home.
Here are ten other rappers who've been in and around the White House at some point or another, most at the behest of Barak, but (more shockingly) some thanks to other former presidents.