By Jackie Kucinich - 06/11/08 06:46 PM EDT
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was the rapper's delight among a collection of hip-hop performers who gathered to party Tuesday night before hitting the Hill on Wednesday to lobby for artists’ rights.
Members of the Sugar Hill Gang — whose single “Rapper’s Delight” was the first hip-hop song ever to go gold — said they would campaign for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“He is trying to galvanize the country, not tear it apart,” said Wonder Mike, as fellow Sugar Hill Gang member Master Gee nodded in agreement.
“Thong Song” scribe Sisqo had a less rousing endorsement. He said Obama would be his choice should he win the Democratic nomination.
When informed that Obama had defeated Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and become the Democratic flag-bearer, Sisqo replied, “Obama’s the president?”
He concluded, “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind him.”
Partygoers braved torrential rain to attend the gathering at the chic Chinatown home of Max Brown, founder of the 360jmg communications firm. Lime martinis, crab salad on wafers and a large variety of cupcakes greeted guests, who waited patiently for their turn to take pictures with the famous rappers.
The Sugar Hill Gang, Whodini, Sisqo, Dru Hill and a potpourri of other hip-hop glitterati came to Capitol Hill Wednesday to lobby for The Performance Rights Act sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.).
The bill would change U.S. law so that terrestrial radio stations would be required to compensate performers when their music is broadcast. As it stands now, only songwriters get compensation from such radio stations.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, which Berman chairs, held a hearing on the legislation Wednesday.