MUSIC has long been used as a channel for political messaging, usually taking the form of protest songs – think “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen, “F**k Tha Police” by NWA, pretty much anything by Rage Against The Machine, and more recently, this Thai anti-junta song by Rap Against Dictatorship.
What you may not have heard much of before, however, is the politicians themselves releasing a song, not in protest, but urging people to be nice.
Well, you’re in luck because the mayor of Taipei, Taiwan, has done just that.
Ko Wen-je may seem like an unlikely trap music star – a style of Southern American hip hop – but he is killing it with his first song entitled “Do Things Right.”
The 59-year-old has teamed up with underground Taiwanese rapper Chunyan to spread the positive message to “just do the right thing.”
“Don’t steal chickens or pet the dog,” Chunyan raps – Taiwanese slang for being lazy and committing petty thievery.
Ko can be heard chanting in the background the mantra, “Do the right thing, do things right.”
The mayor didn’t change much for the music video, menacingly strolling through the corridors of government in his traditional button-down shirt and chinos – pen firmly in breast pocket – as the video’s opening shot.
— Ko Wen-Je 柯文哲 (@KP_Taipei) September 3, 2018
Other shots include Ko banging his fist on the desk of a boardroom and repeating the words, “guai, guai” – meaning “strange, strange.”
Chuyan then takes the reins to give the song a bit more substance and musicality.
Ko’s popularity has been surging since he took office as mayor of the capital city back in 2014. He has been called the “maverick mayor” and is known for his blunt, straightforward style that has placed him in running for the presidency.
— Ko Wen-Je 柯文哲 (@KP_Taipei) November 1, 2018
An August opinion poll found Ko would have the highest overall support rate, exceeding that of current president Tsai Ing-wen, if he were to run for president.
Before he can do that though, he needs to secure a second term in local elections slated for Nov 24. His burgeoning music career might just help him do that.