Saturday, November 1, 2008

Election Season Tunes

With the U.S. Presidential election in its final days, it's worth mentioning the amount of fan-generated music that has come to define the 21st century nature of media and politics. From Obama Girl and the Yes We Can video to Raisin' McCain and Vlad and Boris' Song for Sarah (not to mention this silliness), memorable tunes on both sides of the spectrum are now a staple.

What all these things have in common are their ubiquity. We are indeed a YouTube generation. It would seem that Senator Obama has been the most savvy in utilizing the web, as shown through his fundraising success and early adoption of social networking tools like Facebook as part of the campaign strategy. Both campaigns used viral videos to get many of their campaign advertisements out on the web, saving money on television airtime in the process. I'll let the historians debate exactly what effects this non-stop feed of sound-bites, stump speeches, local tv interviews and so on have had on the race, but I don't think anyone would disagree that the impact has been huge.

While I was living in Hungary this summer, a popular tune on disco station RoxyFM was House Music United's Yes We Can remix. Funny enough, most people I asked had no idea who was speaking in the background.

Dead Prez take it (typically) one step further, suggesting on their track PolitricKKKs that "If Obama win it wouldn't be the first black/take your two-dollar bill and turn it over to the back", in this case referring to the myth of John Hanson, the so-called "First President" being descended from slaves.

Finally, from the fresher-than-fresh heads at Mad Decent comes The Vote is In, a free one-track DJ mix of somehow election-themed tunes from Lord Tameil and DJ Tiga. With titles like "Jockin' Jay-Z" and "Head Titties & Ass", I'm not sure what the connection is, other than that we should probably dance more in general - politics is so depressing.

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