Ben Carson campaign rolls out rap ad

Story highlights

  • In the ad, a rap by the artist Aspiring Mogul is overlaid with clips of Carson speaking
  • Asked about the ads, Carson said he personally would have approached them differently

Washington (CNN)Ben Carson's campaign is rolling out a new ad in markets with large African-American populations that features a rap promoting the candidate for president.

The radio ad, called "Freedom," will run in Miami, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jackson, Memphis, Little Rock, Houston and Detroit, according to Carson campaign spokesman Doug Watts.
Carson is currently neck-and-neck with Donald Trump for the top spot in GOP presidential polls.
    Ben Carson's new radio ad
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    In the ad, a rap by the artist Aspiring Mogul is overlaid with clips of Carson speaking, as the music urges listeners to "vote, vote."
    "I'm very hopeful that I'm not the only one who's willing to pick up the baton of freedom, because freedom is not free and we must fight for it every day," Carson says in the ad. "Every one of us must fight for it because we're fighting for our children and the next generation."
    Meanwhile, Aspiring Mogul's lyrics urge voters to pick Carson.
    "Vote and support Ben Carson for our next president and be awesome," the song says, closing with: "If we want to get America back on track, we got to vote for Ben Carson matter of fact."
    The total buy for the ad is $150,000, Watts said.
    Carson has not made his race a focal point of his campaign, but has featured his biography heavily on the trail, including how he grew up poor in urban Detroit before heading to Yale and becoming a renowned neurosurgeon.
    In the latest Quinnipiac University poll of national voters, Carson led Democrat Hillary Clinton by 10 points in a potential head-to-head match-up, but trailed her 73% to 19% among African-American voters. The next highest Republican among African-Americans was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who trailed her 77% to 17%.
    Carson himself said while he trusts his advisers when it comes to strategy, he may have approached the ad differently.
    "There are people in the campaign who felt that that was a good way to do things and, you know, they're entitled to their opinions," Carson said Thursday at a book signing in Florida. "I support them in doing that, but you know I probably would have taken a little different approach."
    The ad was first reported by ABC News.