Florida Senator Marco Rubio dropped some science on the Senate floor yesterday, referencing “modern-day poets” Wiz Khalifa and Jay-Z during a filibuster by his Republican colleague Rand Paul of Kentucky, who was trying to block a vote on President Barack Obama’s pick of John O. Brennan for CIA chief.
A self-described West Coast hip-hop fan, Rubio bridged rap’s already-bridged coastal divide when he first quoted Wiz Khalifa, specifically his song “Work Hard Play Hard,” drawing laughter from the chamber: “You look at the time, I think it’s a time when many of our colleagues expected to be home, back in the home state playing hard, but I’m happy we’re here still working hard on this issue,” said Rubio.
Paul began the filibuster to draw attention to President Obama’s drone policy, and his silence on the question of whether his administration would use drone strikes to kill Americans believed to be terrorists. When it was his turn to talk, Rubio name-dropped Jay-Z and his song “A Week Ago” while suggesting that the conversation over drone strikes would be very different if George W. Bush were still in office.
“That takes me back to another modern-day poet by the name of Jay-Z and one of the songs he wrote: ‘It’s funny when seven days can change, it was all good just a week ago,'” said Rubio. “Well I don’t know if it was all good a week ago, but I can tell you that things have really changed, because if the president was George W. Bush and this was a question being asked of him and his response was the silence we’ve gotten, we’d have a very different scenario here tonight.”
It’s not the first time Rubio has talked about his love of rap music: When David Gregory asked the senator on Meet the Press last year whether he preferred 2Pac or Notorious B.I.G., Rubio replied that he was “more of a West Coast fan, I guess, during that time.”