Barack Obama's First MTV News Interview Was With ... Diddy?

Then-Illinois state rep encouraged youth participation back in 2004 too.

It's incredible to think that nearly five years ago, there wasn't one black senator among the 100-person U.S. Senate. That fact makes it even harder to believe that we're about to have our first black president.

But the most unbelievable part is that the first time MTV News met [article id="1598607"]President-elect Barack Obama[/article], he was being interviewed by Diddy.

Believe it!

In the weeks leading up to the 2004 presidential election between John Kerry and President George W. Bush,

[artist id="1244169"]Diddy[/artist] interviewed the then-Illinois state representative as he was running for the U.S. Senate. Even then, Obama stuck to the same message.

"Part of what we want to do is to make sure that we're setting a trend as far as political participation," Obama said. "Music, fashion -- all of that's important -- but people have to also understand that when our young men and women are going to war, somebody's made that decision, and it's typically going to be young people [fighting]."

He said young people had to be involved in deciding where their tax dollars were spent. He stressed accountability. They needed to look out for their collective best interests.

During his bid for the presidency, Obama called on the youth to take responsibility for their future as well. [article id="1598667"]A record number of young people[/article] turned out to make their voices heard on both sides of the political aisle during the 2008 election.

In the '04 interview, Obama addressed the idea of disenfranchisement among young people over the years, saying young people had to assert their power.

"When you give away your vote, you're giving away a little bit of power that you have to influence the things that you see around you," Obama said at the time.

He stressed that things were not going to change overnight. People still have to be accountable for themselves and work toward achieving their dreams. He told Diddy that people have to take initiative, but the government can provide a little bit of help.

"Your vote will determine whether the people in power reflect what you care about or whether it reflects what the fat cats care about," he said.

"Be the Change: Live From the Inaugural" will air live on MTV on Tuesday, January 20, at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT. MTV News will have wall-to-wall coverage of the event and of the scenes in Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Kenya in the days leading up to the event and in the days that follow.

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