Common: Obama Single-Handedly Transformed Hip-Hop

Is there anything Barack Obama can't do? Not according to rapper Common, who credits the President with sending hip-hop off into a more cuddly, less bling-centric direction. And now peace reigns for all.

Calling it the "Obama Effect," Common claims the Commander-in-Chief has helped guide rappers away from bombastic consumerism and "gangsta talk," which we thought went out the window ages ago.

I also don't find as much gangsta talk. You see the whole chain-shining-and-rim era is gone. That's like super-played out. Just to have that, I think, is part of the Obama effect.

This hypothesis, of course, supports Common's previous claims to CNN that Obama's election would bring a more positive attitude to the genre. So it's all very convenient, although it seems to us that the crippled economy and a pervasive exhaustion for ostentatious displays had more to do with this trend than Obama himself. But, still, let's all sing his praises, anyway!

By the way, Common was speaking at an arts event sponsored by Hennessy, a drink that was emblematic of the attitudes Common claims are fading away.