The only time I have ever felt afraid at a rap show was when Killer Mike performed at this year's Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina. It wasn't because of some vague but palpable criminal element often present at hip-hop events. And it wasn't the swarthy-bougie frat bros from nearby Chapel Hill using Mike's onstage energy as an excuse to knock some nerds around, either. It was the sentiment sent from the stage after a performance of the song "Reagan" from Mike’s 2012 album R.A.P. Music. He doubled down on these lines: "Ronald Reagan was an actor, not at all a factor / Just an employee of the country's real masters / Just like the Bushes, Clintons, and Obama / Just another talking head telling lies on the teleprompter."Hopscotch's audience, mostly white, caught up in Mike's performance and rhetoric, hooted and hollered and clapped. They were cheering for cynicism. And they were grafting their own youthful "whatever bro"-isms onto Mike's problematic, though well-earned and cogent distrust of the government. Here we were, in a city in a liberal hub of the South, in a battleground state Obama won in 2008 against all odds, and would lose this year to Mitt Romney (not to mention, a state that banned gay marriage earlier this year). You've heard of "radical chic"? Well, this was apathy chic.I was scared at that moment because of an election that, at the time, was about two months away. Here was the kind of toxic knowingness spreading amongst liberals, gathered in one place. This was an attitude, for reasons that make no sense at all, that seemed to expand as the right wing rolled out bozo after bozo ready to redefine/ban abortion and bomb Iran. All of which should've emboldened people to support our president, right? Yet it became cool to dismiss Obama as just another full-of-shit politician.Mike's performance arrived at the end of a summer full of similarly dismissive sentiments about the President and the government. Lupe Fiasco, who called Obama "a terrorist" on "Words I Never Said" from last year's fist-pump, hip-pop debacle Lasers (then expounded on those thoughts in an interview with CBS this year), said he does not vote.When he received criticism from CNN's Roland Martin and comedian DL Hughley, Lupe tweeted some half-read Howard Zinn-isms like this: "Let me heal from the wound of 400 years of institutionalized agony and destruction first…then maybe I'll think about voting…" Love the "maybe" in there. Like, even after he heals from this 400-year wound, he'll only give some thought to voting.Kendrick Lamar said this to the website Truth Is Scary: "I don't vote…do what you do. Do good with your people and live your life because what's going on isn't really in our hands." One can extract from that a ground-level support of one's community which sounds fine and all, but is also dangerously close to Mitt Romney's response to Hurricane Sandy. Recall, during a desperate speech at a campaign rally half-heartedly turned into a Sandy relief event, Romney compared post-hurricane clean-up to this one time when his friends all got together and cleaned up a trashed-up football field. Some things are too big for even a determined group of individuals to fix, and both Lamar and Romney must know that.There were still plenty of moments of Obama support worth noting. Earlier this week at President Obama's final campaign rally, Jay-Z adjusted the lyrics to "99 Problems": "If you having world problems, I feel bad for you son/ I got 99 problems but a Mitt ain't one." Most rap fans called it cheesy, clueless old farts on right-wing talk radio pretended to be outraged. But there's something special about Jay-Z performing his most misunderstood song — it is not a misogynist song and it never calls a woman "bitch" — in support of the president, while dismissing Romney with just half-a-bar.On "To The World," the opening track from G.O.O.D' Music's Cruel Summer, Kanye West changed Rick Ross' "Hold Me Back" ("These niggas won't hold me back") into a mocking chant of "Mitt Romney ain't pay no tax." The Roots' Dice Raw reconfigured the whole Rozay song for "Tea Party." The hook became "These crackers trying to hold me back, these crackers trying to hold me back…fuck the Tea Party, fuck the Tea Party." Dice also questioned the values Romney's Mormon religion: "Mitt Romney's a racist / Yeah, that's a fact / You should hear what these Mormons / Think about blacks / Say you'll never see heaven, unless you're a slave / So if you a nigga, sit up straight and behave." It worked because it’s just a pissed-off howl of frustration. It’s not trying to be clever.Similarly, sampling innovator Steinski released a blunt collage of hot hip-hop instrumentals over stupid Romney-isms and called it, "Mitt vs. The Truth." And for a moment there, Nicki Minaj had people worried when she compared herself to Mitt Romney on a Lil Wayne refix of Kanye's hit "Mercy." "I'm a Republican voting for Mitt Romney,” she rapped, adding, "You lazy bitches are fucking up the economy," leading some to think she was endorsing the Republican candidate. What she was really doing was brushing aside those lesser than her, using the language of elitist Romney supporters. President Obama seemed to understand this — "She likes to play different characters," he explained to reporters fishing for a story. Nicki tweeted this in response: "Thank you for understanding my creative humor & sarcasm Mr. President, the smart ones always do ...*sends love & support*."Notice, that all of these examples of politically-engaged rap focus on Romney's ridiculousness, rather than Obama's viability. No one tried to do an update on Young Jeezy's "My President." Though 2 Chainz, usually everybody’s symbol for everything wrong with hip-hop, teamed up with Respect My Vote to cut a PSA telling convicted felons that they can restore their voting rights.The day after the election, a video of Killer Mike voting appeared online. He filmed it at the church where he's voted his entire life. He did it wearing a "I'm glad Reagan's dead" t-shirt. It sure is hard to be mad at that guy, and typically, it complicates his cynicism. As far as we can tell, Kendrick Lamar did not vote. Though he did release an excellent rap album that makes good on the community concerns expressed in that video interview. I'll take that. Lupe? Well, he is still Lupe. Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney and his victory very well could be the final nail in the coffin for the race-baiting, anti-women radicalism of the right.The President also beat out the cynicism has taken hold of hip-hop in the past two years. His victory speech nailed the pronouncements about “how great this country is and blah blah blah” with just enough self-aware "this shit ain't easy" thrown in there. "Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated," he observed. His inclusive reference to gay rights was also quite moving. But the ears of rap fans, I hope, perked up when in a list of those who America is "open" to included "the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner." Though Chief Keef is hardly the only kid trying to climb out from under poverty, police corruption, and a bullshit-ass drug war, the teen rapper-turned-talking point came to mind. I'm doubtful Obama was referencing Keef there. But that doesn't matter. The point is, we have a president who actually might know who the hell Chief Keef is. That's not entirely out of the question. And how great is that? Our excitement revs up again. Keep it going. Remember Tuesday in four years.