RFK Jr. Releases 'Campaign Anthem' With Rapper Who Tried To Murder a Cop

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Turk (Sean Gallup/Getty Images, originalhotboyturk Instagram).
March 4, 2024

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has leaned heavily on star power to fuel his long-shot presidential campaign. His latest gambit is a collaboration on a "campaign anthem" with a rapper who served nine years in prison for the attempted murder of a police officer.

Kennedy, whose uncle John was assassinated in November 1963, released "Standing on Bidness" over the weekend. The four-minute track, which the campaign calls an "unprecedented step in political engagement," features a group of "hip-hop heavyweights." One of those heavyweights is Turk, a Louisiana-based rapper convicted in 2006 for the attempted second-degree murder of a police officer.

Turk, formerly known as Hot Boy Turk, was arrested in 2004 after he shot two police officers during a SWAT raid in Memphis. One of Turk's victims, Chris Harris, underwent three surgeries and had bone taken from his hip to reconstruct his jaw. Harris sued Turk in 2006 for $10 million. Boosie, another Kennedy collaborator, was charged in 2010 with first-degree murder in a separate incident, but acquitted in 2012. Boosie, who served prison time on drug charges, has come under scrutiny over homophobic statements.

"Standing on Bidness" appears part of Kennedy's strategy of using celebrity outreach to drum up political support. Kennedy touts endorsements from rock legend Eric Clapton, comedian Rob Schneider, and actor Pierce Brosnan. Political pundits have debated whether Kennedy's campaign poses a bigger threat to President Joe Biden or to former president Donald Trump, though the candidate recently said he believes he is "probably drawing more from President Trump."

"Standing on Bidness" is not Kennedy's first controversial collaboration. He hosted convicted child sex predator Scott Ritter on his podcast last year to discuss their mutual opposition to the United States' support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Kennedy has also worked for years with the Nation of Islam, led by anti-Semitic preacher Louis Farrakhan, to promote skepticism about vaccines for measles and the coronavirus. Farrakhan, who once compared Jewish people to "termites," has credited Kennedy with introducing him to the unfounded theory that childhood vaccines cause higher rates of autism in black boys. Kennedy called Farrakhan a "truly great partner" in the "battle" to publicize a link between vaccines and autism, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Kennedy and his fellow rappers recorded the track at an Atlanta studio, though the candidate's lyrical contribution is somewhat limited. He opens with the line "As president of the United States, I'll be standing on bidness," a slang term roughly equivalent to the phrase "taking care of business."

The Kennedy campaign did not respond to a request for comment.