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?uestlove was Wrong — Kinda

Last week, The (Legendary) Roots crew, ?uestlove in particular, got into a bit of trouble for choosing to play Fishbone’s song, “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” as the walk-on music for Republican presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann during her appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Brother ?uestion was wrong.

But I understand.

It was totally impolite.

Yet totally subversive and awesome and gangster.

I understand why Bachmann was mad. And, although I hate to admit it, she’s right. Had it been Michelle Obama, that never would have been tolerated. It wouldn’t have even happened, frankly. Because Michelle Obama does not have reputation of being a liar. And because her walk-on music should be a Chicago house classic. Oh, and she’s the FLOTUS. And we’re supposed to treat her with more respect, I guess.

?uest was wrong because he was representing NBC, not simply himself or his band, and the company wants and needs to maintain its relationship with candidates like Bachmann for ratings, to “accurately” cover the news, etc.

Yet, as I understand the moment, this is not all about the “liberal” bias of “Hollywood,” as Bachmann wants us to believe. ?uestlove’s support for the current PLOTUS notwithstanding, this is a small blueprint for how to commit revolutionary acts: Someone who has never heard of Fishbone or this song or even Michele Bachmann hears about the moment and proceeds to research, figure out why The Roots so subtly invoked a black ska/punk band from L.A. as the soundtrack for a presidential candidate. And perhaps that person uncovers Bachmann’s inconsistencies, how clearly unfit she is to run this country–and then takes her vote elsewhere. Or perhaps does something other than vote. Like realize that many politicians and political candidates should walk-on to music that subtly harkens to their duplicitous ways. And then do something totally effective and unexpected.

Blame it on the fact that I’ve watched the new trailer for The Hunger Games about 40 times last week, but acts like this could so easily be translated into some mockingjay type stuff. These small acts are the kinds of germs needed to make actual change, to compel people to think and act differently. Sometimes one has to be part of the empire to expose its problems effectively.

?uest was still wrong, though. Sometimes, you have to be.

If it only gets more people to listen to Fishbone, then I’m still all for it. Revolutionary enough. Carry on.


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