Scott Paul is both a musician and a Democratic candidate for Sussex County commissioner.
Those two seemingly disparate worlds are now colliding.
Republican Dawn Fantasia, one of two GOP incumbents seeking reelection to the five-member board, this week presented a review of both Paul’s campaign platform and his music.
Headlined “When words fail, music speaks,” Fantasia termed the lyrics of a Paul creation, “Never Get Boring,” as vile and disgusting and degrading women as nothing more than “playthings” for men.
Connecting this to Sussex politics, she says the lyrics are in stark contrast to Paul’s campaign pledge to work for all. Fantasia also seeks to connect Paul’s music to what has become a statewide Republican campaign theme – the Murphy Administration treats women poorly. Examples include the Katie Brennan rape allegations and the documented harsh treatment of women at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility.
Displaying both sarcasm and a bit of cleverness, Fantasia says self-proclaimed feminists should keep those things in mind the “next time you don your pink hat.”
Leaving statewide politics aside, let’s look at some of the lyrics.
The samples below suffice:
“Listen up, I told ya, I’m a killer, I’m a soldier.
And the lady of your dreams,
I got her chillin’ on my sofa.
And she came so hard,
Now the b***h is in a coma.”
“Lately I been feelin’ so high,
If I ever come down I’m soaring.
Fell asleep in some p***y last night,
I woke up in some p***y this morning.
And even though it happens all the time
It don’t never get boring.”
Paul said in response that he was initially “flattered” by the attention Fantasia is giving his video. He said it came out about a year ago and that he never tried to hide its existence.
But he added that Fantasia doesn’t have the credentials to judge his art and that she’s engaging in “political gamesmanship.”: He said he doesn’t take her criticism seriously.
For the record, Fantasia is director of a charter middle school in Bergen County. In a phone conversation, she stressed that these are words that Paul wrote himself.
This, obviously, is not the first time rap music lyrics have caused a commotion. Critics often complain about lyrics they consider demeaning to women.
But it’s a bit unusual for this debate to nudge its way into a race for county commissioner.
Paul is running on the Democratic ticket along with Mike Vrabel.
The other Republican candidate is Chris Carney.
On the surface, this doesn’t seem to be a fair fight.
Democrats have made inroads in northwest New Jersey. Both House members representing the county are Democrats.
However, as of now the changing winds have not made it to local governments in Sussex, where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by a healthy margin of 49,000 to 26,000 countywide.
The candidates debated last week and Paul theorized that Fantasia’s release came about because Democrats won the debate. That’s a subjective judgement to be sure.
Paul also noted that GOP candidate Carney had a recent problem of his own with unpleasant verbiage, namely referring to a woman as a “bitch” in a text message.
“I used coarse language,” Carney said in apologizing for the text at the debate.
No word if he put his apology to music.