Barack Obama Needs Rainmakers
"I'm gonna break down what the word 'motherfucker' actually means...it's about expression." - Bernie Mac
As evidenced by my choice of profession, I have a fascination with language. Wordplay, to me, has always been what the suffix of the word implies: a game. And in order to chop up good game, you need to have the gift of gab. A man's vocab is a barometer of his intelligence. If you "speak so well", you probably have a good ass job. In other words...a strong command of language is important. That being said, I would like to present, Huey P. Langston's Word of the Day.
Today's word of the day is: RAINMAKER.
Now pay attention.
My fascination with rainmaker has a lot to do with Fat Joe's current hit "Make It Rain". Lil Wayne's guest appearance goes something like this...
Lil Wayne is a rainmaker, because, as he says, he can "make it rain on a hoe". Thus, any man with enough cash and a strip club to patron can become a rainmaker. Even if your name is Pacman.
And if you look at this clip from a Vegas local newscast, violent incidents involving rainmakers are a part of "a trend...A phenomenon glorified in hip hop music videos." (Watch 0:30 seconds in)
But is that really the case?
The term rainmaker and those who "make it rain" has actually been around years before Joey Crack's current smash hit Top 40 (I'll eat my hat if "Make It Rain" isn't on the next volume of Now That's What I Call Music). Eleven years ago, John Grisham wrote a book abou called "The Rainmaker", which was later made into a movie starring Matt Damon. In a recent New York Times article, a donor to the Clinton campaign was labeled a "rainmaker" by the writer, and in this week's New York Magazine, a story about Rudy Guilani's presidential hopes also labels a big time campaign donor a "rainmaker".
Therefore, contrary to popular belief, rainmakers and making it rain isn't a trend. Nor is the term invented by rappers for rappers; rather it's used to label lawyers who can increase a company's profits or a politicians fundraising. Nor is the metaphor of making it rain solely applicable to the act of throwing wads of cash in the air and watching them come down. The connotation is the same, yes, but the appropriation of the word in the hip-hop lexicon, is either A) more clever than any of us ever thought or B) historically incorrect.
Either way, words have a tendency to play a major factor into perception. It's called, "word association". A show about "gangsters" is associated with The Sopranos, but a show about "gangstas" is associated with The Wire. Rainmakers (aka those who make it rain), because of the media and popularity of hip-hop culture, are now associated with rappers, overly paid athletes, and "gangstas". Not political fundraisers and donors. And the danger in that association does the most harm to (drumroll please) Mr. Articulate, Barack Obama.
You heard it here first: If Obama fucks around with some slick talk on the campaign trail and says something like, "Ladies and gentlemen, I need the rainmakers to come through and do whatever they can," the Republican party and Democratic rivals are going to
lynch crucify make him look bad. Television spots will show pictures of Obama alongside green-screen images of video girls and proprietors from Sue's Rendevouz, Magic City, and Scores will come out of the woordwork endorsing Barack in '08. Yes, the shit will hit the fan, and no brainstorm is going to be able to wash away the mess.