On November 4, 2008, many people around the world were struck with renewed faith, pride and relief.
In New York's Times Square, it felt like the Yankees and Mets had both won the World Series ... on New Year's Eve. All through Africa, people ran through the streets in a celebration that hasn't been as big since Nelson Mandela was released from prison. In Europe, Asia — same thing. A resounding number of people shared united merriment: Barack Obama had been announced as the president-elect.
Some of music's biggest artists shared in the revelry.
"I really do thank all of the young people, man, who went out there and made it a priority to stand in line and make them folks respect their vote," T.I. said from his trailer on an L.A. movie set. "I really do appreciate you. You're number one in my book."
"We're so lucky to be a part of this big, big election," Swizz Beatz said in a mini-documentary he posted on online that details his voting experience. "This is history in the making for a whole new generation. ... Our last president didn't lead us into the right way. So Obama is hope — not only for the black people. He's the hope for the world. First time I feel like our people have a voice."
While Fall Out Boy wish they could have been in Chicago to live the moment in their hometown (FOB guitarist Joe Trohman actually lives walking distance from Grant Park), it still didn't overshadow their reaction to Obama's win.
"As we were waking through [New York's] JFK [Airport] and they called Ohio — because that was such a turning-point state in the last election — the whole airport started to light up, the Obama supporters," frontman Patrick Stump said on "TRL." "The McCain supporters, you could see them in the back [shaking their heads]. There was an immediate reaction. It kind of felt like one of those travel movies like 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles' or something. Where as I'm traveling to my hotel, it gets more and more crazy, and by the time I got into my hotel, I made it in time to get the announcement. One of the big things for me, and it was, like, really emotional, was seeing it on CNN. They pull up the first shot that announces Obama. It's my skyline in Chicago, and I just see Grant Park and Barack Obama elected president. It was pretty awesome. It's a shame we weren't home for it, but it's just amazing."
You know the moment is monumental when Busta Rhymes, a man who never has problems making his voice heard, is speechless. "How do you even describe this feeling?" Busta asked MTV News. "I'm trying. It's an indescribable emotion right now."
On Thursday, Jay-Z talked to radio personality Angie Martinez on New York's Hot 97, playing an unmixed version of his new song "History." Jay said he didn't make the record about the election but decided to let the public consume it because it was feel-good music and appropriate timing. Kanye West produced it.
"How I feel is fantastic," said Jay, who admitted that Obama may be even cooler than him. "I felt like the world changed in one day. People that have nothing to do with our political process was affected by this. It was a beautiful thing for us worldwide. ... All our enemies will sit down and have a conversation with him. He comes from an oppressed people as well."
Jay was home when the results of the election were announced. "I was exhausted," he said. "I couldn't go anywhere. I pushed myself to exhaustion trying to help out with the campaign."
Jay voted Tuesday at 6 in the morning. He was up at 4:30, in line by 5 and was the fourth person in line.