Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama has notched plenty of firsts in his historic run for the White House. But starting on Friday, his campaign went into uncharted musical territory with the release of Yes We Can: Voices of a Grassroots Movement.
The album, which benefits his campaign, features previously released songs from John Mayer ("Waiting on the World to Change") and Stevie Wonder ("Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours"), a new track from John Legend (a cover of U2's Martin Luther King Jr. homage "Pride (In the Name of Love)") and a song by Malik Yusef featuring Kanye West and Adam Levine of Maroon 5 ("Promised Land").
Dear Everyone Who Has Inexplicably Co-Opted the Phrase "Rock Star":
Please give it back. Seriously, it's not funny anymore. Really, I'm not writing this to be snarky or make fun of shut-ins still clinging to their prepubescent glory days (this isn't another "open letter to New Kids on the Block Fans," after all). I'm doing it because I care. And because I can still remember a time when "Rock Star" wasn't a catch-all term used to describe junior senators from Illinois and governors from Alaska. It was a state of mind, a way of life, a swearing, swaggering, strutting thing, one that wanted to sleep with you (or your sister), steal all your drugs and then get into a fight with a bouncer. You could point at someone and go "now that guy — the one with the bottle of Jack, the leather pants and the sh--ty attitude — THAT'S a Rock Star."
Now? Not so much. Over the past few weeks, I've seen the term used to describe the magnetic appeal of both Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama (in pieces like this and this) and Republican VP nom Sarah Palin (here and here). While I certainly admire the political pundits (and basement-dwellers with a Blogspot account) of this great nation for trying to, you know, "rock the vote," I will most respectfully have to disagree with all of them.
More of James' argument, plus your chance to agree or disagree, after the jump!
By Josh Horowitz
As the fireworks figuratively and literally went off at the conclusion of Senator Barack Obama's acceptance speech at Invesco Field in Denver last night, a few observers were reminded of another powerful political speech some 13 years earlier — that of President Andrew Shepherd.
By Liz Nord and Kristin Grimmett
DENVER — If hip-hop and Barack Obama were on Facebook, their relationship status would be: "It's complicated." So when the ladies of Choose or Lose descended upon the Mile-High City Saturday to cover the Democratic National Convention, where Obama will officially be named the Dems' presidential candidate, we went backstage at the Denver Rock the Bells show — where we saw so much Obama gear that you'd have sworn it was an Obama concert — and talked politics with everyone from Ghostface Killah to the Pharcyde, and even got a special message for Obama from Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon. Read More...
I've known Young Jeezy for a few years now, and he really speaks the truth. Last week in Houston, he told me and my partner in Mixtape Monday, Rahman Dukes, that he enhanced a song we previewed a while back called "My President." The record is on Jeezy's upcoming album The Recession.
The Snowman recruited Nas for the last verse to give the song a steroid-like boost. One of my favorite lines from Nas? "She ain't a politician/ Honey's a pole-itician." And I have to big-up his reference to Hulk Hogan. Jeezy told us that Nas "went in," and indeed Esco did.
Jeezy comes off as well. And while the record definitely addresses his hopes for Barack Obama, Mr. 17.5 expanded the subject matter, talking about his relationship with UGK and even the rims on his Lambo, among other topics. Bruce Wayne has nothing on him. [In Jeezy's raspy voice] Haaaaahaaaaa!
Read more about the hip-hop community's role in this year's presidential election here.
"The Ren & Stimpy Show," "The Goddamn George Liquor Show," "The Ripping Friends" and, of course, the infamous Tenacious D video "F--- Her Gently." There is only one John Kricfalusi, and when the demented cartoon genius turns his pen on you, you better hope he's in a good mood. (See the figurines after the jump!) Read More...
By Ocean MacAdams
Hey — I'm going to be the first to find out who Obama's VP is going to be! That's right, the senator is going to skip the whole "media" thing and just e-mail me. Here's what the e-mail that I (and presumably millions of others) got on Sunday from Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said:
Dear Ocean --
Barack Obama is about to make one of the most important decisions of this campaign -- choosing a running mate.
You have helped build this movement from the bottom up, and Barack wants you to be the first to know his choice.
On Wednesday, two days before the start of this summer's Lollapalooza in Chicago, I had the chance to chat with Perry Farrell, the festival's mastermind. It's always awesome talking to Perry, especially since I count Jane's Addiction among my all-time favorites.
We talked about a lot of things: Will Obama be making a surprise appearance at the festival, as has been the popular rumor? Would Jane's be getting back together this year for an unannounced set? What changes were made to make this year's Lolla better than last year's? You can read all about that here.
The presidential campaign is getting ugly. And, no, we're not even referring to the new ad from Republican Senator John McCain wherein he claims Democratic rival Barack Obama went to the gym instead of visiting troops.
Nope, we're talking about a new freestyle from Ludacris over Young Buck's "Get Buck" called "Politics (Obama Is Here)," in which the "Get Back" MC gives props to the freshman Illinois senator while throwing dirt on his rivals and, of course, giving himself a bit of shine as well.
Unlike Will.I.Am's uplifting Obama anthem from earlier this year, "Yes We Can" — which featured rousing quotes from the senator's speeches recited by a bevy of stars — Luda takes it to the streets.
In his grimier take, the Atlanta rapper — who has actually broken bread with Obama — first carves out a minute to big-up himself (and his Bentley), then gets down to business. Read More...
by Rya Backer
Independence Day offers Americans a long weekend, fireworks and summer fun — but it's important to remember what the holiday actually stands for: the freedom provided to us by generations of men and women who have fought for our rights.
Almost 70 percent of young Americans know someone fighting in either Iraq or Afghanistan, and the wars have become a huge factor in what shapes the story of this generation. More importantly, they've become a defining moment in the history of our nation. Unfortunately, media attention on the wars has waned in recent months — and we've decided to do our part in changing that.
It's in this spirit that MTV's Street Team '08 — 51 citizen journalists from every state and the District of Columbia — have compiled "Soldier Stories." These works introduce us to some of the nearly 1 million men and women who have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces. These stories can be found at www.chooseorlose.com.
We've also published stories about the GI Bill and Ashwin Madia, an Iraq war vet who's running for Congress.
But don't just take our word for it. Two guys you might've heard of — named John McCain and Barack Obama, a.k.a. the Republican and Democrat presumptive presidential nominees, respectively — have filmed messages urging support for the troops and our efforts to give them the attention they deserve. Take a look at what they have to say, and be sure to let us know what you think.