John Kasich is the governor of Ohio. Last week, he joined the enormous, Donald Trump-dominated field for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
And he really hates The Roots.
Via the Cincinnati Enquirer comes the story that Kasich, 63, wrote in his 2006 book Stand for Something: The Battle for America’s Soul. According to Think Progress, he wrote he wanted to “give hip-hop a fair shake,” but quickly determined The Roots were not for him:
I slipped in this new CD and was quickly appalled at what I was hearing. The lyrics just put me over the edge. Every other word … was intended to shock and titillate, for no good reason but to shock and titillate, and I couldn’t listen to it … the language didn’t add anything to the music, or to the message, which I guess is the very definition of gratuitous. And then I caught myself thinking, What if my wife got in the car and the album happened to still be in my CD changer? How could I ever explain what I was doing buying this stuff? Or, even worse, what if my daughters chanced to hear it?
Kasich then drove to a trash can and threw the CD out his car window into the garbage. It’s a wonder he didn’t attempt to return it, as he also once lobbied Blockbuster to take Fargo off its shelves.
The incident happened when Kasich worked at Lehman Brothers, which means the album was likely Phrenology or The Tipping Point, both acclaimed Roots albums that are very carefully crafted. Despite Kasich’s description, the language in both albums is done to make a point. The Roots shock and titillate for good reason.
What’s most amusing about this anecdote is that The Roots were the hip-hop group your dad was most likely to listen to (or at least tolerate), because they played their own instruments. Kasich does get one thing right: If you can’t like The Roots, maybe hip-hop just isn’t for you.