Was Barack Obama, the president of the United States, an extra in the 1993 rap video "Whoomp, There It Is"? Sure, the president is and was a hip-hop fan. And yes, there is basketball in the video. And yes, there is a guy who displays a toothy smile that is quite similar to Obama's. (Check out the photo on the right or watch at 1:02 in the video, copied below.)
But the short answer is no. Politifact, however, has the long answer.
Bumping and bouncing through the blogosphere Tuesday was the claim that President Barack Obama appeared in the 1993 music video for Whoomp! (There It Is), the catchy ode to raucous dancing and sexual promiscuity that became a fixture at sporting events. It includes the refrain "Can you dig it?... We can dig it."
One post on a Tea Party blog (Tennessee Sons of Liberty) read:
"Pay close attention to his ears poking out, the shape of his nose, and skin color."
A Huffington Post commentator had this retort:
"Are you sure that's not him? Because all black people look the same."
Politifact settles it and gives this a "Pants on Fire":
We tracked down half the Tag Team, the rapper DC the Brain Supreme who also goes by the name Cecil Glenn. He first heard of the Obama video rumor on Saturday, and has since received calls from New York magazine and Inside Edition.
Glenn said he doesn't think the man in the video is Obama. "It doesn't add up. It's hard to say he was in Atlanta and said, 'Ooh, I want to be in the Whoomp! (There It Is) video.' ... I can't be for sure because that was a real big video shoot and thousands of people showed up."
The fact checkers went back and looked at where Obama was in June 1993 when the video was shot:
Obama, a recent law school graduate, was working at Miner, Barnhill and Galland in Chicago, said Judd Miner, a firm partner. Miner didn't recall Obama, then 31, taking time off to travel to Atlanta that month.
"I've never heard of this before," Miner said.
Miner also couldn't link the earring-clad man in the video to the young lawyer that served for years at his firm. "Barack never had an earring."
The White House was more blunt:
"It is not him."
(Hat tip: Ben Smith.)