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This past Sunday, President Obama gave a commencement speech at Notre Dame where he congratulated a championship outdoor basketball team called "Hallelujah Holla Back" - a Ghetto Revival catchphrase that I popularized on ego trip's (White) Rapper Show . Pretty surreal. The moment was significant not only because it reinforced the phrase's cultural relevancy, but also represented another historical moment of a commander in chief's encounter with hip-hop culture. In honor of the recognition, here's a look at some of the biggest moments of Hip-Hop's Direct Interaction with the U.S. Presidency...
5. President George H. W. Bush Invites Eazy-E To The White House, 1991
• The late, great Eazy-E was a strategic donator. After forking over $2,500 to an anti-censorship GOP member, he was invited for lunch at the White House. Despite suspicions from the hip-hop community, Eazy defends his move in this clip as elaborate promotion. I see the vision!
4. President George H. W. Bush Denounces Ice-T's "Cop Killer", 1992
• After President Reagan's era of increased poverty and drug abuse, his successor moved in to criticize the cultural backlash. Dubya's dad never mentions Ice-T by name, but denounces his infamous record, "Cop Killer," as "sick." Ironically, one of Bush's biggest supporters at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger, "killed" hundreds of cops on the big screen. Apparently, entertainment is treated differently when it comes from an O.G.
3. Bill Clinton Criticizes Sister Souljah, 1992
• After the 1992 L.A. Riots, hip-hop artist and activist Sister Souljah was quoted as saying: "If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?" Bill Clinton, who was campaigning for the Presidency, chastised her remarks as fomenting racism. The outcry actually led to a healthy boost in Sister Souljah's platform to voice her beliefs, most eloquently highlighted on this Donahue episode.
2. President George W. Bush Pardons John Forte, 2008
• As Dubya's days as Prez wound down, his pardon game got interesting. No one really expected the former coke-head to release ex-Fugee member John Forte, who had spent seven years incarcerated for liquid cocaine possession. Although Forte has remained quiet about his opinions on Bush, he wasted no time getting back in the booth. The dope game's hard but the rap game's easy.
1. Barack Obama Gets The Dirt Off His Shoulders, 2008
• So far, Obama has been more of an ally than an adversary to the hip-hop community. In this famous clip from the campaign trail, he adopts Jay-Z's mantra when describing how he responds to Hillary Clinton's attacks. Looks like someone was feeling like a pimp.