Obama Encourages Students to Abandon Hopes of Becoming Great Rappers

mojo-photo-obamayousuck.jpgBecause, you know, hope is crazy audacious, but not that audacious. Obama was in Georgia yesterday (talk about audacious hopes), and in a speech to a town hall meeting in Powder Springs, gave the mostly African-American audience a message of “tough love.” Speaking about the importance of staying in school, he seemingly aimed some comments directly at young black men:

“You can’t find a job, unless you are a really, really good basketball player which most of you brothas are not. I know you think you are, but you’re not,” he said to murmurs and laughter in the crowd. “You are over-rated in your own mind. You will not play in the NBA. You are probably not that good a rapper. Maybe you are the next Lil’ Wayne, but probably not, in which case you need to stay in school.”

Okay, I know I’m not the next Lil Wayne, but couldn’t I just be the next Yukmouth? That’s all I ask, is one top-20 hit, then I promise I’ll go back to school. You know, Obama may be mistaken about the path to rap stardom, since even if you do stay in school, you might accidentally end up a hip-hop superstar: as Vulture points out, Lil Wayne attended the University of Houston. Sure, in poli-sci, but still. More importantly, what happens after Obama’s president for eight years, and then in 2020 we suddenly have a shortage of great rappers and basketball players? That doesn’t seem like sound economic policy, since those are two of the only things America still corners the market on.


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.