Get ready to BARACK OUT! Obama’s campaign staff has released a Spotify playlist with their top election anthem picks — plus some personal favs of the Prez. (Y’all KNOW Al Green is on there.)
It’s pretty damn hip and eclectic — Arcade Fire and Wilco add hipster flair; Aretha and Jennifer Hudson give it soul; Zac Brown Band and Sugarland turn up the twang; James Taylor and Bruce Springsteen keep it classic; Florence + The Machine lends her epic pop pipes; No Doubt punks it up; and Ricky Martin delivers the duende.
And with song titles like “Even Better Than The Real Thing” from U2, “Raise Up” from Ledisi and “Keep Marchin” from Raphael Saadiq, Obama’s crew is clearly sending the message that POTUS is ready to fight for his right to the White House.
We gotta give ‘em props for pulling together 28 rally-worthy jams – but in the spirit of democracy, we wanna DJ for America’s Head Dude! So here are some Action-oriented tunes from our MTV fam that we wish made the cut:
++ Jay-Z & Kanye — “Made in America”
Lyrics for a Leader: “Built a republic, that still stands / I’m trying to lead a nation”
If there’s one thing America’s wannabe two-termer is doing, it’s watching the throne — so we can’t believe Obama’s staff missed a chance to hammer home that the Prez has his eye on the prize. And pumpin’ this particular track would be a sweet sucker punch aimed at all those birthers who claim Barack isn’t even a natural-born red-white-and-bluer. Plus, Jay-Z has been Barack’s boy since ’08 when he went H.A.M. on his campaign trail so Hova definitely deserves a Spotify shout-out.
++ Beyonce — “Run The World (Girls)”
Lyrics for a Leader: “To other men that respect / What I do please accept my shine… My persuasion can build a nation / Endless power our love we can devour”
With a fierce First Lady and two beautiful lil girls, Obama must know that Bey spits the truth in her female empowerment anthem. Educated and independent women have the power to lift their communities out of the vicious cycle of poverty, as The Girl Effect so vividly illustrates. The revolution is gonna be lead by a 12-year-old girl — improving the quality of life and security of the entire world in the process — so Obama betta recognize!
++ Kelly Clarkson — “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)“
Lyrics for a Leader: “You didn’t think that I’d come back / I’d come back swinging / You try to break me / But you see”
If the GOP primary is any indication of the beef that’s about to blow up during the 2012 Presidential election, then Obama’s campaign better be ready for the mud-slingin’. With Super PACs spending bajillions on negative ads, it can feel like the entire political system is wasted on haterade – but we believe the candidate who wins the White House will be the one who can rise above all that BS. Which is why Barack needs to take a cue from Kelly — Ellen, too! — and use his detractors to fuel the fight for a better America.
++ Penguin Prison — “Don’t F*** With My Money“
Lyrics for a Leader: “You f*** with my money, oh / You’ll be sorry, no (no no) / You got what you wanted, oh / I did what you told me, oh”
Sometimes you gotta drop a f-bomb to get peeps to pay attention. Earth to Obama: if you want to connect with the protest movement that galvanized the globe — and prove that you plan to level the economic playing field that many believe unfairly bailed out big corps over regular citizens — please take this track to heart. Electro-pop artist Penguin Prison even filmed the music video at ground zero of Occupy Wall Street — and as the unofficial dance anthem of the 99%, it bluntly voices the anger of struggling Americans. Even a catchy tune like this can’t hide the real hurt this recession has caused — so listen up, Barack!
++ Lady Gaga — “Born This Way”
Lyrics for a Leader: “Don’t hide yourself in regret / Just love yourself and you’re set/ I’m on the right track, baby”
Mrs. Gaga went to Washington to deliver her anti-bullying battle cry directly to Obama — and even created an entire foundation to support her compassionate cause — so how can his staff have forgotten to include this epic tolerance track?! Fo sho, there have been some major equality milestones in Barack’s first term — like the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (which Mother Monster fiercely fought to defeat) — but the battle ain’t over. Rocking out to the acceptance anthem that won the first-ever VMA for “Best Video with a Message” is the perf way for the Prez to put his paws up!
++ Foster The People — “Pumped Up Kicks“
Lyrics for a Leader: “Yeah, he found a six shooter gun / In his dad’s closet hidden with a box of fun things…better run, better run, outrun my gun.”
Who doesn’t love a super fun song…about gun violence?! Yup, if you actually listen to the words from the hit single that rocketed this freshman band to stardom, then you’ll hear them painting the tragic picture of school shootings between the toe-tapping hooks. The painful legacy of Columbine persists every time another student or teacher dies in a campus rampage like the one that devastated Virginia Tech – so Obama’s team should keep this track handy as a reminder that gun control needs to be pumped up in this country.
++ Foo Fighters — “These Days“
Lyrics for a Leader: “One of these days you will forget to hope and learn to fear”
It ain’t been smooth sailing for Obama. His Presidency has been plagued by a Wall Street meltdown, historic recession, housing crisis, healthcare hot mess, never-ending war on terror AND Katy Perry and Russell Brand broke up. Damn, son! Times are tough — and “Yes We Can” has suddenly become “Wait, Can We?” Some of his most rabid stans from ’08 have lost the love with the lack of change to believe in — our girl named Sophia Bush included — so Barack should heed Dave Grohl’s warnings (who actually campaigned for Kerry in ’04) and show the country that these days won’t last forever.
++ 30 Seconds to Mars — “This is War“
Lyrics for a Leader: “It’s the moment of truth, and the moment to lie / The moment to live and the moment to die / The moment to fight, the moment to fight”
According to the our Commander-in-Chief, the Iraq War is over (hey, no parade?) — but American soldiers continue to serve in Afghanistan and the shadowy war on terror rages on…so Jared Leto’s intense vocals still ring true. The band’s passionate pop rock also points to a hella important issue for the next President of the United States – how are we going to take care of our returning vets? The wounded, mentally unstable, and jobless? There are an estimated 320,000 vets between the ages of 18 to 24 and during the last months of 2011, one in three of them was out of work. These brave young men and women — who 30STM portrayed in their video for this track — deserve a shot at the good life. Obama’s campaign should crank this track up and get focused on helping our troops!
++ Britney Spears — “Criminal“
Lyrics for a Leader: “He is a hustler / He’s no good at all / He is a loser”
Okay, so maybe this single is just about Britney’s questionable taste in boos. But if we’re talking politics, this Bonny-and-Clyde remix can also be seen as a wake-up call about the painful realities of our criminal justice system — and that’s why it deserves to be on the Presidential iPod. According to the stats, America has the highest incarceration rate in the world (2009), the federal prison population has doubled since 1995 (2010), and more than one in three young black men without a high school diploma are behind bars (2010). Obama, we got a problem. So when you hear Brit-Brit swooning over her outlaw lover, don’t blame it all on the pop princess, mmkkaaay?
++ Lil Wayne — “President Carter“
Lyrics for a Leader: “Sitting on the world, I got life in my hand / So these days I try to think twice when I can”
Aight, Weezy isn’t actually the Leader of the Free World, but Obama still is – so he should get hype for the big race with this classic boast track from the Ragin’ Cajun MC. And if the Prez wants voters to see him as “much more than a good speech,” he should steal some political swagger from this Young Money Democrat.