Armstrong: Stay in your lane Dr. Ben Carson

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Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks to the media during a stop to sign his book at a Barnes and Noble store on November 5, 2015 in Fort Lauderdale Florida. Mr. Carson is leading the field in some of the recent polling for the Republican nomination contest.

I'm no hip-hop expert. Far from it. But I know bad music when I hear it, and Dr. Ben Carson's new radio campaign ad featuring rap music is cringe inducing.

For starters, the word "awesome" doesn't rhyme with "Carson." It just doesn't.

Called "Freedom," the new 60-second radio spot features vocals by rapper Aspiring Mogul and includes snippets from Carson's campaign speeches. According to ABC News, it launches today in eight markets with large black populations - Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Birmingham, Ala., Memphis, Tenn., Little Rock, Ark., and Jackson, Miss.

Carson, 64, really needs to stay in his lane, as the saying goes. We know he's not big on hip-hop. He's pretty much said as much. That's cool. But Carson shouldn't use the genre in an attempt to pander to young black people. Voters see right through that.

It looks as if Carson's taking seriously new polling, including Quinnipiac University's, that shows that with the help of African-Americans, he could beat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

But Carson with his politically conservative views isn't exactly a crowd favorite when it comes to blacks. So Carson, who is the only African-American in the race so far, turned to something black folks are known to like - rap music. Insert headshake right here. What's next, Dr. Carson? No, wait, I'm afraid to ask. I don't even want to know.

Between vocalizations by Aspiring Mogul, whose website describes him as "the first and only Christian Republican Rapper," Carson intones:

"America became a great nation early on, not because it was flooded with politicians, but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, creativity, innovation, and that's what will get us on the right track now.

"I'm very hopeful that I'm not the only one who's willing to pick up the baton to freedom," Carson continues. "Because freedom is not free and we must fight for it every day. Every one of us must fight for us because we are fighting for our children and the next generation."

It ends with Aspiring Mogul's singing, "If we want to get America back on track, we gotta vote Ben Carson, a matter of fact."

Note to Carson: To appeal to black voters, skip the rap and instead focus on the issues African-Americans care most about such as job creation and criminal justice reform. Don't condescend and please stop comparing things to slavery. That's offensive.

Yesterday, Carson appeared to back away from the rap ad, which he said came at the suggestion of members of his campaign team.

"I support them in doing that, but I probably would have taken a little different approach," Carson told reporters.

That's right, Dr. Carson. Stick to campaign speeches and debates. Or even better, stick to medicine.

On Twitter: @JeniceArmstrong
Email: armstrj@phillynews.com