In my recent adventures with the Internet, I have come across two videos from white male Romney-endorsers. They wear flat-brimmed hats and awkwardly rap intelligent lines like “he’s no sinner, winner, winner chicken dinner” all across Provo.
While these videos claim they are trying to help Romney gain some “street cred” that is not the only thing they fail at. On a musical level, both of these songs are terrible. In the “Mitt Romney Rap” the four (five? six? I can’t really keep them straight, they all look the same) rappers stumble over their lines, trying as hard as they can to stay in time with the music but coming off feeling terribly stiff and inexperienced. The second video, “Romney is Better,” is actually even worse, despite its name, and the backing track sounds like the synths in someone’s GarageBand are very broken (not in a dubstep way, in a regular broken kind of way). Moving away from “Mormon Bro” stereotypes, this video actually does feature a woman, but more gender representation doesn’t redeem it from horrifying lyrics like “vote like a boss and help the president retire,” and “Obama’s forward will take us back to the age of pterodactyls.” The lyrics in both videos are moronic and unintentionally laughable; the arguments about Romney fail to present any real points and make the Romney rappers look even more foolish than they already do in their oversized wayfarer sunglasses. And adding insult to injury, parts of the video are performed on the same parking garage where the Rooftop Concert Series is held, where highly-esteemed local musicians perform every summer—a venue these bros have definitely not earned. The Romney rappers show blatant disrespect for everyone in Provo who has tried to create music for the sake of art, instead creating videos for attention at the next Alpine Village party.
These videos perfectly encapsulate the Provo problem. Despite the budding music scene that’s gaining recognition world-wide, despite the dedicated people who work extremely hard to promote local bands, and despite the plethora of local musicians with so much talent, things like this still exist to convince the outside world that Provo is no more than a bubble of bump-its, bros, and NCMO’s.
Here’s the thing: Provo can do so much better than this. Head down to Velour or Muse to hear real music, more than just frat-rap: check out punk rock from bands like Baby Ghosts and Problem Daughter; acoustic folk from Timmy the Teeth or Spencer Russell; electronic music from Soft Science or Night Night; rap from Chance Lewis and Apt; garage rock from Back Chat; surfy-pop from The New Electric Sound; and many other types of music from the many, many bands in Provo. The real Provo music scene is more than a bunch of dudes trying to make a viral video—so many people are working hard to create music actually worth listening to. So forget the bros, and let’s give local music the credit it deserves.