Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rubio knows even more about hip-hop than we think


It turns out that when Marco Rubio seemed to mistakenly imply in a recent GQ interview that hip-hop legend Afrika Bambaataa was once a member of Public Enemy, the fault was with GQ's editing; not Rubio.

At least that's what Hunter Walker, the GQ print edition, and Rubio's spokesman, Alex Conant, all say.

The twisting, winding, caper of a tale, as told by Hunter Walker.

In the online version of the interview, writer Michael Hainey is quoted as simply asking Mr. Rubio, “Your autobiography also has to be the first time a politician has cited a love of Afrika Bambaataa. Did you have a favorite Afrika Bambaataa song?” Mr. Rubio is quoted as answering by discussing Public Enemy, a group that did not include Mr. Bambaataa.

“All the normal ones. People forget how dominant Public Enemy became in the mid 80s. No one talks about how transformative they were,” Mr. Rubio said.

When the article appeared online last week, we reached out to Mr. Rubio’s spokesman Alex Conant who said the apparent mistake was caused by the magazine’s editing.

“Yeah, the transcript in print edition edits the conversation for space. In the Q portion in the full interview, there was actually a decent back and forth about rap before he asked the second question about a favorite album,” said Mr. Conant.

Indeed, in the print version of the interview that is now available on newsstands, Mr. Hainey’s full question includes the note that Mr. Bambaataa was sampled in Public Enemy’s song “Fight The Power,” which led to Mr. Rubio’s response.

[Photo: Mika-photography]