By Maurice Bobb
One doesn’t normally hear hip-hop quotables on Capitol Hill, but Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a self-described West Coast hip-hop fan, stepped to the podium Wednesday night (Mar 6) and dropped salient references to “modern day poets” Wiz Khalifa and Jay-Z.
It was during a filibuster in the Senate chamber by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul to block a vote on President Barack Obama’s CIA Chief pick, John O. Brennan, that Rubio took his fellow senators to the cypher, first using a line from the ONIFC MC’s “Work Hard Play Hard.”
“Let me begin by quoting a modern day poet, his name is Wiz Khalifa. He has a song called ‘Work Hard Play Hard’,” Rubio said, drawing laughter from the chamber. “You look at the time, I think it’s a time when many of our colleagues expected to be home, back in the home state playing hard, but I’m happy we’re here still working hard on this issue.”
After Paul brought attention to the POTUS’ drone policy, Rubio reflected on what things would be like if George W. Bush was still in the White House, suggesting that the former president would do things differently than the current administration, using the metaphor created by Hov in the song, “A Week Ago,” from the five-time platinum selling opus, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life.
“That takes me back to another modern-day poet by the name of Jay-Z and one of the songs he wrote: ‘It’s funny what seven days can change, it was all good just a week ago,’” Rubio said while drawing attention to the prospect of the President deploying unmanned aerial drones to kill Americans believed to be terrorists. “Well I don’t know if it was all good a week ago, but I can tell you that things have really changed, because if the president was George W. Bush and this was a question being asked of him and his response was the silence we’ve gotten, we’d have a very different scenario here tonight.”
Political references are new hat for Wiz, but Jigga’s lines have been used before to make political points. Last year, during a hearing at the Florida House of Representatives, Representative Alan B. Williams quoted Jay’s “99 Problems” while debating the amendment over heresay evidence.
“You think about a wise businessman…he knows his rights… Jay-Z said it best, ‘I know my rights, so you gonna need a warrant for that.’” The politico goes further to quote, “Aren’t you sharp as a tack/You a lawyer or something?” and then closes with, “If you support Jay-Z, support this amendment.”