'Equality is the prime rib of America' and other surreal political moments in pop music

Categories: Lists
Lady Gaga proclaimed yesterday that "Equality is the prime rib of America," simultaneously empowering and confusing the hell out of legions of GLBT activists as they rallied against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

While the nation's top socio-political scientists try to decode what Gaga could have possibly meant by this opening statement, we're taking a look back at pop music's often well-intentioned but sometimes mind-boggling entrances into the political sphere.

Wyclef Jean vies for Haitian presidency

On August 5, Haitian-born hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean announced his intention to run for president of Haiti, a move that was met with much shock and scrutiny (not to mention a few repeated listenings of his single "If I Was President"). A few weeks later, Haitian officials released their list of 19 approved candidates, and Wyclef's name was not on the list because he didn't meet residency requirements.

Just this morning, Jean issued the following statement: "After weeks of quiet but painstaking reflection with my wife and daughter, I have chosen to end my bid for the presidency of Haiti."

Elvis fights the war on drugs, while on drugs

Fed up with being blamed as the instigator for what he referred to as the "hippie drug culture," Presley ventured out on his own for the first time in years on December 21, 1970 to demand a meeting with Richard Nixon and a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs badge. Later, Presley's ongoing battle with prescription drug abuse would surface, revealing that the King was struggling with his own drug use all the while.

Nixon was reportedly a bit weirded out by the meeting (he found it "awkward") but nonetheless took the time to pose for a photo opp and the chance to boost his credibility, if only for a moment.

Kanye West drops the "George Bush doesn't care about black people" bomb on live TV

During a televised fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina relief, Kanye West took a moment to stray from his prepared script and express his views on the situation, eventually blurting out "George Bush doesn't care about black people" while poor co-host Mike Meyers stood beside him, utterly dumbfounded.

Later, Kanye tells Nightline news, "It changed my life for the better. I think people understood me a little bit more. This guy maybe has a little tourets, maybe not quite diagnosed, but the truth just comes out, whatever's on the top of his mind. I'm working off the cusp here. I'm not reading the teleprompter. I'm speaking from the heart."

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