The White House just released a list of 29 songs that will be heard at President Barack Obama‘s campaign stops and events between now and November 6. The list runs the gamut from R&B slow jams that include Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” — which he just serenaded the country with last month at a fund-raising event at New York’s famed Apollo Theater — to country tracks and even Ricky Martin, but rap is nowhere to be found.
Why would our cool prez, who has in the past admitted to listening to rap artists like Lil’ Wayne and Jay-Z, not include Hip-Hop music on his campaign trail playlist?
Obama’s playlist seems to cover every genre of music — Sugarland, U2, Aretha Franklin, Florence and the Machine and even the English indie folk band Noah and the Whale. But there is not one sign of an MC anywhere to be found on the culturally diverse list of performers.
In the past, Obama has been quoted as saying that one of his favorite groups are The Fugees; this fact is also mentioned on his Facebook page. They’re Hip-Hop performers, so why isn’t their music good enough to make the campaign trail?
Hip-Hop poet Common, who has slammed former president George W. Bush and egged on violence against the police in his poetry, was invited last May by the First Lady to perform at the White House Music Series. The move enraged right-wings pundits like Sarah Palin, who was very clear in her criticism of the Obamas:
The judgment is just so lacking of class and decency and all that’s good about America with an invite like this. They’re just inviting someone like me or someone else to ask, ‘C’mon Barack Obama who are you palling around with now?'”
If Common was good enough to secure an invite to perform at the presidential digs, why isn’t one of his songs on the list?
Jay-Z, who — along with wife Beyonce — has been invited to the White House, actually tweeted a picture of the couple as they sat around a conference table pow-wowing with the president.
Where aren’t any of Jigga’s cuts on the presidential playlist?
On Spotify, a music streaming service, the presidential mix has the following subtitle: “The official 2012 playlist features picks by the campaign staff, including a few of President Obama’s favorites.” The Washington Post reports that a spokesperson for the Obama campaign clarified in an e-mail that the president didn’t choose the songs; they were suggested by staff members and volunteers.
Didn’t the Hip-Hop community rally around our president during his campaign? Rappers seemed to collaboratively go the extra mile to ensure Obama’s election. Nas, LL Cool J, OutKast, Young Jeezy, as a matter of fact the “Queen of Hip-Hop” Mary J. Blige even worked at a campaign office.
The Hip-Hop community has wholeheartedly embraced Obama from jump, but it is quite evident that there is a lack of overt reciprocation for the Hip-Hop community’s affections by our president.
Obama Campaign Playlist:
Different People – No Doubt
Got to Get You Into My Life – Earth, Wind & Fire
Green Onions – Booker T & The MG’s
I Got You – Wilco
Keep on Pushing – The Impressions
Keep Reachin’ Up – Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators
Love You I Do? – Jennifer Hudson
No Nostalgia – AgesAndAges
Raise Up – Ledisi
Stand Up – Sugarland
This – Darius Rucker
We Used To Wait – Arcade Fire
You’ve Got the Love – Florence and the Machine
Your Smiling Face – James Taylor
Roll with the Changes – REO Speedwagon
Everyday America – Sugarland
Learn to Live – Darius Rucker
Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
My Town – Montgomery Gentry
The Best Thing about Me Is You – Ricky Martin, featuring Joss Stone
You are the Best Thing – Ray Lamontagne
Keep Marchin’ – Raphael Saadiq
Tonight’s The Kind of Night – Noah and the Whale
We Take Care of Our Own – Bruce Springsteen
Keep Me In Mind – Zac Brown Band
The Weight – Aretha Franklin
Even Better Than The Real Thing – U2
Home – Dierks Bentley