'Obama Effect' Cleaning Up Rap
Common says hip-hop turning more positive
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2009 12:34 PM CDT
Rapper Common stops by MTV Studios for a taping of MTV's "Total Request Live" in 2007.   (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Thanks to President Obama, today’s rap focuses less on drugs, bling, and violence, and the “conscious rapper” is on the rise—at least according to Common. “I don't find as much gangsta talk,” the rapper/actor tells CNN. “You see the whole chain-shining-and-rim era is gone. That's like super-played out. Just to have that, I think, is part of the Obama effect.”

Hip-hop fans are ready to hear more positive, upbeat messages from socially aware artists, Common says—and he, for one, is ready to give that to them. “What America was built on was being able to say, 'Hey, we're going to come in and use our resources to build for ourselves and our communities and build around that.' I think that's what hip-hop is starting to do to a certain extent.”