Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je’s first music video, “Do Things Right,” has finally dropped and the message is as earnest as the title implies. Wearing white shirtsleeves with a pen clipped into the chest pocket, he strides in slow motion alongside Taiwanese rapper Chunyan. “Don’t steal chickens or the pet dog,” Chunyan raps, using slang for laziness and petty theft, as Ko’s hypnotic chant of “Do things right” loops in the background.
Ko, a former trauma surgeon who has been in office since December 2014 and apparently also goes by the street name “Ko-P,” has been spreading the same message in more traditional ways for some time now. Consider the press release sent out by the Taipei city government on Christmas Day in 2016, in which he reflected on his first two years as mayor. It stated: ”Ko stressed the importance of the principles of ‘do right things’ and ‘do things right,’ noting that adjustments in city administration is being implemented according to plans.”
According to Linda Poon of CityLab, Ko is well-liked among Taiwanese voters, with “growing calls for him to run for president, thanks in part to a savvy social media presence.” Indeed there’s something charming and agreeable about Ko’s flow:
It’s always a risk for politicians to rap, but Ko pulls it off with far more success than many others who have tried.
In March of this year, Utah’s GOP-controlled House of Representatives put out a rap video that will make you want to shut down your computer and never turn it on again:
Assuming perhaps that nothing could be worse than what went down in Utah, state senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from New York, delivered his “Anti-Scalping Bill Rap” before a a seemingly stunned gallery of aides and fellow legislators—at least one of whom can be seen snickering behind Hoylman’s back during the performance:
It’s not easy to find things that rhyme with “Rep. Steve Cohen,” but the Tennessee Democrat has held onto his seat since 2007:
And “Vote for Rangel,” a track released by Londel “Fireboy LD” Davis III during former New York congressman Charles Rangel’s 2014 reelection campaign, included the lyrics: “Charlie Rangel/Stand-up guy/If you’re voting for Charlie put your hand up high/Yeah, suit and tie/He’s superfly/If you’re a Democrat/Yeah, that’s the guy…”
As Fireboy LD told the New York Observer, “I feel like I am the voice of hip-hop and politics.”
Rangel won by roughly 1,800 votes.