A virtually unknown rapper named TRQ announced Friday that he's recording the theme song for the GOP convention in San Diego. This marks the second time the party has tapped the pro-life, pro-abstinence performer to energize young Republicans. The Republican rapper has penned a ditty called "Make the Difference--Lead the Vote," which is slated to open the festivities on August 11, the night before the convention begins.

Although Tim Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for the convention committee, could not confirm the rapper's role, saying an official list of entertainers would be released next week, TRQ was the star act at a similar pre-convention rally in Houston four years ago. There, he performed "We Are Americans," a hip-hop number with a family values slant. His publicist, Mitch Purcell, said that this year's committee invited TRQ, whose real name is Steve Gooden, to sing in San Diego two months ago.

TRQ, which is short for "The Right Question," has also recorded an album of romantic tunes called "From the Heart." He is trying to find a publisher for an audio book titled "If I Were President," in which kids tell the right-leaning rapper how they would rule the nation. "He's a young, black rapper who loves his country," said Purcell.

While the patriotic TRQ might be big news in GOP circles, he hasn't made waves in the music scene. "Who? I've never heard of him," said Bruce St. James, music director of KPWR--Los Angeles' biggest rap station. TRQ's musical non-status probably has to do with the rapper being "a critic of the popular black establishment," Purcell suggested.

Or maybe it's because Gooden has endorsed the wrong candidates--like George Bush. "It's ironic that his music has been attached to losing campaigns," his publicist lamented. However, Gooden remains undaunted. His song features the uplifting verse: "Hope is reality/Go for the victory/There is no defeat." Easy to say when your guy's almost 30 points behind in the polls.

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