Back in Spring 2009, an unknown Dartmouth rap duo called The Young Cons went viral when the sophomores donned some suits, rolled up to a lecture hall, and filmed themselves slinging these limited government lyrics:
I rep the Northeast and I’m still a young con,
Let your voice release, you don't have to be obamatrons.
I debate any poser who don't shoot straight,
Government spending needs to deflate,
“The Young Con Anthem” has been watched over 500,00 times and made political heroes out of its unlikely MCs -- BFFs and Division-I bball boys Josh Riddle aka Stiltz (he’s 6’9”) and David Rufful aka Serious C (Christian first, conservative second). When two tall white dudes studying at a traditionally liberal Ivy League campus go “8 Mile” on the interwebz to kick-off “a devout mission to spread the love and logic surrounding true conservatism,” it tends to get peeps talkin’.
And it doesn’t hurt if you’re able to name check politicos like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan; reference "The Great Gatsby" and throw in some shout outs to Jesus.
The Young Cons fresh approach to the GOP game became a media sensation -- they even performed live on Mike Huckabee’s show -- but when the news cycle chaos calmed down, the right-wing crew kept their individual freedom flow going. Josh and David continued to fire off friendly but fierce opposition to their school’s left-leaning majority by uploading more cheeky vids, becoming editors of The Dartmouth Review (the campus’s conservative mag), and reppin’ Republican views on Twitter.
What we really dig about these political playas is their commitment to #realtalk without the haterade, or as they more eloquently state:
“Rather than bashing viewpoints that deviate ideologically, the purpose is to make both sides of the aisle think critically about their respective political and moral beliefs. Ultimately, people will not listen to a man or woman shouting forceful and rude statements, no matter how 'correct' said statements may be.”
So whether you're down with their conservative swagger or not, you gotta appreciate the way these guys are using their lyrical power to spread a message they care deeply about -- plus, they wrote this line: "great like the Gatsby, poppin posers like acne." Need we say more? We'll let Josh and David take it from here -- check out their interview below to learn more about what inspired them to grab the political mic!
ACT: What inspired you to get involved politically?
THE YOUNG CONS: We were inspired to get involved politically while taking our post-graduate year at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts and realized that political discussion was a rare occurrence on our campus. During our first year at Dartmouth College, we believed the information that we were receiving from the mainstream media and even our own professors was largely of liberal thought, and we decided to try and help provide a different perspective. We believe both sides of the political discussion should be heard so individuals can think critically about their respective views and moral beliefs.
ACT: Why do you feel that rap is the best medium for you to express your views?
THE YOUNG CONS: Rap is a great medium because it is a fun way to get across a serious message. It also allows us to reveal a great deal of conservative thought in a short amount of time. We do not approach the rap game as two starving artists hoping to land a record deal, but merely two college kids who have a passion for politics and hope to encourage discussion amongst young adults who are just reaching the voting age.
ACT: How has the feedback been on your songs? Was there anything that surprised you about their reception?
THE YOUNG CONS: The feedback on our songs has been very positive. On a very liberal campus like Dartmouth College, all of our friends and peers are supportive of what we are trying to achieve. Some of the negative feedback comes from people who we think misunderstand our goals. If someone is critiquing our songs based on our delivery and production value, then it is not hard to find problems. However, our lyrics about limited government, supply side economics and individual freedom are hard to come by in a rap song, so most people appreciate the effort and creativity.
ACT: What political issues do you care about the most and why?
THE YOUNG CONS: The national debt. We believe that, unless serious entitlement reforms and spending cuts are made, our country cannot sustain this fiscal situation we are currently living in. If government spending remains uncontrolled, then social issues are almost irrelevant at this point. We both also have a heart for the unborn and are hoping for restraints on abortion rights so that future generations will not look back on this era of American history and characterize us as barbarians. However, this issue will not exist if the United States follows the fiscal path of Greece, which many economists believe is likely.
ACT: Why do you feel it is important for young people to vote, and be politically engaged? Why do you vote?
THE YOUNG CONS: Young people need to know that this country was founded on peaceful Democratic elections and exercising the right to vote is one of the most important things a US citizen does. Irrespective of whether an individual is voting Democratic or Republican, it is crucial that young people develop informed opinions about the issues facing this country. When the American people are given a choice, it is our duty to research and learn which one provides the best answers.