On the campaign trail, mayoral candidate Frank Conaway can often be heard passionately criticizing his opponents.
Today, the Baltimore Circuit Court Clerk does it in rhyme.
Conaway, 77, posted a rap on his campaign website where he takes a few cutting digs at the mayor, and candidates Otis Rolley, Catherine Pugh and Joseph "Jody" Landers.
On the minute-long rap, he opens with a "I'm Frank Conaway and I approve this message," and then asks some of his opponents, "How you gonna take advice from the gift card bandit?" That's a reference to former mayor Sheila Dixon's role as a behind-the-scenes player in this year's mayoral race.
His nickname for SRB? "Stephanie Rawlings-Fake.' Oh, snap.
He also namechecks Pugh and Landers but saves his cattiest lines for Rolley. "Otis Rolley, who that dude? I can go watch 'Martin' if I wanna see you." (A question of interpretation has been raised! Is Conaway referring to 'Martin,' the show or the governor? So difficult parsing one of our subtlest up-and-coming rappers).
Some might say the rap is embarrassing, but, hey, it's no frivolous $21 million lawsuit. Fingers crossed he'll perform it live sometime in the future, hopefully at a debate, as a closing statement.
Update: Just talked to Papa Bear. Conaway clarified he didn't do the rapping himself, and only helped write the song.
The idea came from campaign adviser Brian Brown, and it's just meant to live up what he sees as a dull race and draw comparisons to his opponents.
“We have all these forums and it's really not enough time,” he said when reached at the Circuit Court. “We thought we'd do a rap and get the attention we needed against them and for myself.”
Conaway recruited “a group of people who know how to rap” for assistance, but he claimed some of the lines - like “Rawlings-Fake” - are his. He said he would only name his co-writers after the campaign was over.
He said it took them a couple of months to settle on the version they finally released today.
Conaway plans on collaborating with his co-writers in the future, but he didn't say in what capacity. Asked if he was too old to be dabbling in hip-hop, the septuagenarian shot back, “You gotta be young at heart.”