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The Internet can’t stop talking about Kamala Harris’ choice of the ‘best rapper alive’

Published Sep 27th, 2020 11:47PM EDT
Kamala Harris
Image: Tom Williams - Pool via CNP/MEGA

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  • Kamala Harris was asked during a recent interview to name her pick for the “best rapper alive.”
  • Harris, who’s running to be Joe Biden’s vice president against President Trump in this fall’s presidential election, answered quickly: “Tupac.”
  • Her answer, as you can imagine, went viral. Not only was that answer incorrect (rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and killed in 1996) but it also is a reminder of the conspiracy theories that are still floating around, about Shakur allegedly faking his death.

One of the things I’ve always found so asinine in the course of presidential campaigns is the effort to make a candidate seem “cool” and to try and insert them somehow into the slipstream of pop culture. It’s something both sides are equally guilty of. President Trump, for example, made an appearance on Saturday Night Live back at the end of 2015, when he was still a candidate. Bill Clinton broke out his saxophone and donned black shades every chance he got when he was running for office.

And look, I get it, these kinds of things are part of an effort to make a candidate palatable enough so that people will want to vote for them. It’s why candidates like Joe Biden’s running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, was recently asked for her opinion on the “best rapper alive” today. Why that needs to be asked of someone who is trying to prove to voters that they belong a heartbeat away from the presidency is beyond me, but nevertheless, here we are. A reality TV star was elected president in 2016, and our potential next vice president is being asked about her rap preferences.

During an interview as part of the NAACP’s recent virtual convention, CNN commentator Angela Rye posed the question about rappers to Harris. You can watch the Senator’s answer in the video below:

Without missing a beat, Harris answers: “Tupac.” At which point, Rye reminds her that he’s, you know, been dead for a while now. More than two decades, in fact.

“Not alive, I know, I keep doing that,” Harris says, laughing.

This caused the Twittersphere to explode, mostly because the rapper has been the subject of numerous conspiracy theories regarding the possibility that he may have faked his death (he was, in actuality, shot and killed in 1996). Rye gave Harris something of a pass on that answer (“Listen, West Coast girls think Tupac lives on, I’m with you.”) at which point, Biden’s running mate gave it a little more thought.

“There’s so many, you know?” said Harris, who’s also San Francisco’s former district attorney, as she gave the question about rappers some additional consideration.

“There’s some I would not mention right now because they should stay in their lane,” she said, before eventually deciding to let the question go.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.