Why not to use rap music in political videos

Story highlights

  • Maine Republican Party jumps on video about Democratic candidate Michael Michaud
  • It contained sexually explicit lyrics about Republican Sen. Susan Collins
  • A blogger produced the video, says he didn't know what the slang meant
These young rappers today -- they use slang that no one in politics quite understands.
Politics today -- jumping on every opportunity to slam an opponent.
So in Maine on Thursday, when a video profile of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michael Michaud was released by a blogger, neither the blogger nor the Democrat's campaign say they realized a song featured in the video included sexually graphic lyrics about a top Republican in the state.
Oops.
Here's what happened:
Blogger Alex Steed, who is co-founder of the production company Knack Factory, produced a day-in-the life video of Michaud, who is locked in a three-way race for governor.
Under images of Michaud doing his work for the day are lyrics from the song "King of Maine" by Maine-based rapper Spose -- yes, Maine has rappers -- that includes a sexually explicit lyric about Republican Sen. Susan Collins. (Collins is not a candidate in the gubernatorial race.)
The Maine Republican Party saw the video and understood the meaning of the lyric, "I've got Susan Collins givin' everybody brain." Brain is apparently a term for specific sexual acts.
The Maine GOP called on the Michaud campaign to "denounce, cease promoting, and take down" the video. All of which the Michaud campaign did immediately once it learned the meaning of the lyric, spokesperson Lizzy Reinholt said.
The Republican Party saved the video, however, and shared it with interested media.
"The Michaud campaign did not produce this video or have any control or advance knowledge of its contents. We do not condone the offensive song lyrics included in it," Reinholt said.
Steed corroborated the account. He said the video was "absolutely independently done. We received no payments from the campaign."
He also said he thought the term was meant to be "an endorsement" of Collins, who he described as a highly regarded Republican in the state. He saidhe learned of the meaning of the word when he woke up Friday morning with a press release from the Republican Party in his in-box.
Collins, meanwhile will not weigh in. She has "no comment," spokesman Kevin Kelley said.
Spose, however, has relished the attention, tweeting, "Shoutout to @mainegop for all the free press!!! ; )"
As for the future of the video, Steed says he's going to take out that lyric and republish the video.
As for a political liability for Michaud? Probably not. But it's a headache for the campaign.
By the way, Michaud, who is currently a congressman, did not vote for arming Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. He said the United States "cannot afford to engage in another open-ended military conflict."