When it comes to popular culture, conservatives always seem either behind the times or outright hostile. Some conservative activists, however, are trying to break the mold in order to bring more people into the movement. The rapper and New Jersey native Hi-Caliber is trying to do just that, and he has used Tea Party events to spread his message.
Because most of the youth vote is liberal and under the control of the Democratic Party, it will take new strategies and alternative outreach methods to draw in young potential conservatives.
Hi-Caliber originally caught a break when Tea Parties first assembled in 2009. He used the platform and his number “Patriotic People” to fire up thousands of other like-minded protesters in Washington, D.C. He used lyrics that would fire up conservatives, targeting the Obama administration, Democrats in Congress and liberalism. In the video that he created and posted on YouTube, Hi-Caliber uses lines like, “Here’s a message for the crooks in the treasury—read the message on the flag it says ‘Don’t tread on me,’ ” to highlight the Tea Party’s disdain for the bailout of collapsing financial institutions.
In another video, created in 2010 for the “Restoring America Rally,” Hi-Caliber shows his sophisticated view of modern politics with a song titled “Revolution 2.0.” In it he compared the Tea Party wave with the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s and interspersed Revolutionary War symbolism throughout the rap. It begins with an introduction by President Ronald Reagan in his first inaugural address making the bold declaration that “government isn’t the answer to our problems, government is the problem.”
Hi-Caliber’s music clearly focuses on patriotic themes and praises traditional values, which is virtually nonexistent in the rap and hip-hop music industry. This gives him a unique niche that has played out well at the rallies and events he has attended.
Since his coming-out as a conservative at the Tea Party rally, Hi-Caliber hasn’t looked back. He still considers himself a regular guy from a blue-collar background that just happens to break the mold of typical hip-hop artists. The former construction worker now makes conservative activism his full-time job, writing lyrics, rapping for YouTube videos and live audiences, and appearing on the radio.
The combination of being both an entertainer as well as a “regular guy” makes Hi-Caliber fit in nicely with the Tea Party movement and also breaks a stereotype of conservatives as only liking country music.
Hi-Caliber wants to change the narrative peddled by liberals that Tea Partiers, Republicans and conservatives are outside the mainstream and intolerant.
Coming from a culture that tends to be liberal and being surrounded by liberal-minded people hasn’t changed Hi-Caliber’s mind about where he should stand on important issues. He supports gun rights, the preservation of marriage as between a man and a woman, and he takes a hard-line stance against radical Islam.
Standing up for important, conservative issues is what Hi-Caliber continues to promote. It is apparent from his “Patriotic People” music video, in which he wears a shirt that says, “I am desheepitized,” and has a crossed-out picture of a sheep on it, that Hi-Caliber is an outside-the-lines kind of guy who won’t flinch from controversy.
Furthering his career in the conservative movement, Hi-Caliber now regularly appears on Jason Mattera’s radio show, and continues to produce patriotic and conservative rap lyrics.