Former Idaho Reporter Drops YouTube Beats on Vacation

Former political reporter for the Idaho Statesman Dan Popkey covered 26 legislative sessions in his tenure before accepting a job as press secretary for U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador in 2014. He’s always presented himself as a straight-laced, black-and-white professional.

That is, until June 30, 2015, when a two-minute, 31-second video of him rapping got over 2,000 views.

“At first, I thought it wasn’t real, then there was a moment where I thought he was intoxicated,” said Boise Weekly news editor George Prentice. “Nothing like that came before and nothing like that has come since.”

The video features Popkey in a hoodie (also a bathrobe, a bucket hat and swim trunks), awkwardly rapping lyrics like “I’m a map god / don’t need a lap dog,” and “I’m rocking polypro / I don’t do cotton so I don’t get soggy, bro.”

The video was produced by Popkey’s two kids and features their recent family vacation to Italy.

The Idaho Statesman ignored the video altogether, while The Spokesman-Review posted it with the caption, “Is this another sign that the end is near?”

Popkey doesn’t seem amused with the attention the video has received.

“Look, it’s something I did with my kids,” he told MJR. “It was just an inside joke with my kids. My son has recently gotten into film and we just did it for fun. I really didn’t think anyone was going to care about it.”

Jessica Murri is a graduate from the University of Montana School of Journalism. She lives in Boise, Idaho, where she writes for the Boise Weekly, hikes, skis, kayaks, backpacks, drives a Subaru and loves her dog.