Now that Barack Obama has clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, some of his biggest support is coming from the hip-hop community.
"Today is one of the greatest and proudest moments of my life," Diddy said Wednesday (June 4) of Obama's nomination. "Not just as a black man, but as an American. Senator Obama becoming the Democratic nominee for president is history in the making and proof that we do live in the greatest country in the world!"
Jeezy said any of this year's presidential hopefuls will do a better job than our current president. He wore a shirt onstage at Sunday's Hot 97 Summer Jam that read, "F--- Bush."
"I know however it comes out, [the election] is gonna affect all of us," Jeezy added. "It's like trying to fix a record label that's bankrupt. These different households — middle class [or] people on Wall Street waking up bankrupt every day when the stocks ain't the same. It's a hard job for any one person to fix the country. It's a lot of people. I can't make everybody happy in my family. I know damn well can't nobody make everybody happy in the country. You gotta deal with too many issues."
"I heard Obama speak," 50 told MTV News earlier this year. "He hit me with that he-just-got-done- watching-'Malcolm X' [thing], and I swear to God, I'm like, 'Yo, Obama!' "
He then threw his fist in the air. "I'm Obama to the end now, baby!"
It's no surprise that the thought-provoking Nas would be the first hip-hop artist to drop a song about Obama's run for the presidency. MTV News has a received a new song by the mic savant called "Black President." (Check out the song right here!) The record conveys Nas' hopes for Obama, should he win the election, and touches on some of the hardships he could face along the way.
The cut, produced by DJ Green Lantern, starts with Obama being introduced as the next president of the United States. It then goes into Obama's speech from Tuesday night. The track builds with a sample of Tupac Shakur's voice: "Although it seems heaven-sent, we ain't ready to have a black president."
Optimism then prevails with a man singing, "Yes, we can change the world." That's emphasized with a sample of Obama yelling, "Change the world!"
Nas' first verse is almost like an open letter to the country: "They forgot us on the block/ Got us in the box/ Solitary confinement, how violent are these cops?"
He ends his verse pointing the finger at some members of the black community. "A president's needed," he reiterates. "These colored folks and Negroes hate to see one of their own succeeding/ America: Surprise us, and let a black man guide us."
When the second verse commences, Nas wonders what Obama might be thinking on election night. "Is it, 'How can I protect my wife, protect my life, protect my rights?' "
Nas himself then expresses the slight misgivings he has about Obama: "I'm thinking, 'I can trust this brother, but will he keep it way real?' "
"I was making the song for the Barack Obama mixtape, and Nas heard the song and called, like, 'Yo, I need that for my album,' " Green Lantern explained of how the song came about. "I said, 'Of course, but it's gotta come out now, 'cause it's so timely.' With his album dropping July 1st, it worked out. I think he does it justice. He not only supports the idea of Obama being the president, he actually questions it in the second verse in true Nas fashion. He's positive, uplifting, but critical at the same time."
Earlier this month, Nas told MTV News that Obama's rise to prominence actually got him interested in politics again. The Queensbridge native did say that he had a very specific agenda he wanted Obama to address if he made it to office — especially in the wake of the Sean Bell case.
"There never been a president to address the slaughter of young black people by this country's police," Nas fumed. "When your government's police are killing one section of people, that's genocide. There's never been a president to even acknowledge it. You don't acknowledge that? That's a big thing President Obama has to recognize when he gets in office.
"I'm five presidents in ... and I ain't seen nothing happen to stop the police murders on young, black people," he added. "Why would I believe in the system? With that being said, I think Barack can cure that disease and help cure the country. Not just in that area with us blacks, but also with all Americans. Women are getting treated like dogs. You know how hard it is for a woman to prove she was raped? The system is warped. They throw young guys — who's starving — in jail just trying to survive on the streets. Throw them in jail forever. Young kids, 18 years old, executed in Texas. Yet, child predators get to come home and do it again. I think it's so much our president can do. [Obama] seems like a human being. I say that because a lot of presidents don't seem like human beings. They seem like straight-up businessmen who care about nothing but the business. Nah, you gotta care about the people."
"Black President" is slated to appear on Nas' forthcoming untitled LP (due next month) as well as his new street CD. The latter, a collaboration between the MC and DJ Green Lantern, will be released toward the end of this week. The mixtape has two covers: One depicting Nas with his mouth taped shut, the other with a photo of police brutality.Head to Choose or Lose for nonstop coverage of the 2008 presidential election, including everything from the latest news on the candidates to on-the-ground multimedia reports from our 51 citizen journalists, MTV and MySpace's Presidential Dialogues, and much more.