Gone Til November: The Obama Mixtape
Due to my desire to post on Precious, I failed to fulfill a writing assignment. I think I was supposed to post something about the 1st anniversary of the election of President Barack Obama. I didn’t know we celebrated the anniversaries of elections, but weird stuff happens when black people are involved. Frankly, I don’t really have much to say. I think my blogging record speaks for itself. I did not feel like the Jeffersons on Election Night 2008. In fact, I was pretty critical of the whole thing. But I’m not going to be cranky about this. Like my grandmother said, if you don’t have anything nice to say, make a mixtape. (Okay, she really didn’t say that.) So that’s what I’ve decided to do.
I suppose it’s not really a mixtape, but rather several EPs. Either way, though I love Radiohead, I’m not going to give the birthers any love by calling this thing “Hail to the Thief.”
Wyclef, “Gone ‘Til November” — Every time I make a run/Girl you turn around and cry/I ask myself “Why, oh, why?”/See you must understand, I can’t work no nine to five/So I’ll be gone, ’til November… Before you get all crunk, I’m not going all Bob Johnson and calling BHO a drug dealer. (Though there is something very soma-like about his most dedicated supporters.) I’m referring to Michelle Obama’s lack of enthusiam regarding BHO’s political ambitions. Plus, this was the jam.
Common, “Chi City” — It ain’t ’94 Joe we can’t go back/the game need a makeover/[The] man retired/I’ma take over. Chicago reps hard for Common and Kanye, but it reps even harder for Barack Obama. This is “I’m about to announce my candidacy” music.
The Pharcyde, “If I Were President”— If I were President, if I were President/I’d make sure all the money spent onnnnnnnn, good things… Yes, good things like _______.
The Campaign — Run, Obama, run!
Depeche Mode, “Personal Jesus” — Reach out and touch faith/Your own personal Jesus/Someone to hear your prayers/Someone who cares. ‘Nough said.
Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” — Admittedly, I chose this jam for the title, not the lyrics, because if the campaign trail smelled like anything… Gotta love a youth movement.
Slick Rick, “Hey Young World”— So be mature, and put the point to a halt/ And if you’re over eighteen, I wish you’d act like an adult/[…]Don’t live in a world of hate hate hate/Pull yourself together, and get yourself straight/Men don’t steal, hey, most don’t borrow/And if you smoke crack… your kids’ll smoke crack tomorrow/So be more mature… Three words: Father’s Day Speech. Slick Rick’s accent and the track make the message sound so much better, though.
Public Enemy, “Can’t Truss It” — Now the story that I’m kickin’ is gory/Little Rock where they be/Dockin’ this boat/No hope I’m shackled/Plus gang tackled/By the other hand swingin’ the rope/Wearin’ red, white and blue Jack and his crew/The guy’s authorized beat down for the brown… In my version of the Barack Obama movie, they play this during the Jeremiah Wright scenes.
Sade, “Smooth Operator” — A license to love, insurance to hold/Melts all your memories and change into gold/His eyes are like angels but his heart is cold… just ask Hillary Clinton. Was “smooth” not one of the most overused adjectives to describe Obama during his campaign?
Beyonce, “Upgrade U” — I can do for you what Martin did for the people. Yes, yes you can.
Election Night — “Lovely Day” (is not on this list)
Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, “Ebony and Ivory” — We all know that people are the same where ever you go/there is good and bad in everyone/we learn to live we learn to give each other what we need to survive together alive… On one night, America was like that piano keyboard. That said, I think I found the inspiration for a few speeches.
Outkast, “Rosa Parks” — From the back of the bus to the White House. We made it, baby! But remember, President Obama, you’re only funky as your last cut.
PPP featuring Karma Stewart, “On a Cloud” — ‘Cause when God woke me up this morning/couldn’t predict you in my future/So take a bow/ Because your smile alone has got me dancin’ on a cloud… If you’ve never heard this song, it sounds like a cooler version of “Dancin’ in the Street.” And that’s what people were doing on election night.
Curtis Mayfield, “Move on Up” — You knew one of the obligatory “black people on the come up” jams had to make this list. I can’t stand “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now,” so I picked this one.
Year One — Dude, I thought you were Superman.
Human League, “Human” — I’m only human/of flesh and blood I’m made/I’m only human/born to make mistakes. Wait. So you’re telling me that Barack Obama doesn’t mean “I can fix this mess” in Swahili?
Jamiroquai, “Emergency on Planet Earth” — The kids need education /And the streets are never clean/I’ve seen a certain disposition, prevailing in the wind/Sweet change if anybody’s listening? Running for office is a lot easier than actually running the country. Jeez.
Janelle Monae, “Hey Mr. President” — Hey, Mr. President/tomorrow I’m paying my rent/My fuel is running low/and I’ve got places to go […]/Can we talk about our education?/A book is worth more than a bomb any day. Each day, the President reads 10 letters sent to him by everyday Americans. That has got to be a buzzkill.
The Temptations, “Can’t Get Next to You” — I can turn the grayest sky blue/I can make it rain, whenever I want it to/Oh, I can build a castle from a single grain of sand/I can make a ship sail, uh, on dry land/But my life is incomplete and I’m so blue/’Cause I can’t get next to you… And by you, I mean the federal deficit.
To Infinity and Beyond — Bonus Tracks
Jaspects, “2012” — And I mean this in both the reelection sense and the catastrophic sense. Call me a conspiracy theorist or whatever. The Mayans ain’t never lied.
The Jackson Five, “Blame it on the Boogie” — Because when/if the recession doesn’t end, who else you got?
Rock out. What songs would be featured on your Obama mixtape?