Obama speech inspires song by A-list admirers
In the long history of political-campaign theme songs, there has never been one quite like "Yes We Can," starring Barack Obama and a variety...
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — In the long history of political-campaign theme songs, there has never been one quite like "Yes We Can," starring Barack Obama and a variety of A-list celebrities.
For one thing, it's more than a song; it's a viral video hit with almost 1.9 million views on YouTube since being posted last Friday.
There's also the fact that the Obama campaign did not commission the song — the rapper, songwriter and producer will.i.am, frontman for the Black Eyed Peas, says he was inspired to create it while watching Obama's speech after his second-place finish to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the New Hampshire primary.
"It was as if he was talking to me," will.i.am said this week. "It was as if he was talking to and defending everything that made me who I am. I took that speech, and I wanted everyone else to be inspired by that speech as I was."
He recorded the song and video in two days last week and hasn't heard from the campaign since, which is fine by him.
"They have more important things than to be contacting me to say thank you," he said.
The song features Obama's voice set to will.i.am's music and melody, plus vocalizations of the speech from the likes of Scarlett Johansson, John Legend, Kate Walsh, Common, Nicole Scherzinger, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Herbie Hancock and other celebrity supporters. The chorus is one of Obama's campaign slogans: "Yes We Can."
Obama is a fan of the video and recommended it to reporters Saturday. The campaign posted it on its Web site.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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