Rappers come from all walks of life from actors to poets to gangsters to Presidents of the United States of America. When Obama dropped his first album, Birth Certificate, he shocked the world with his brutal honesty about growing up in the hoods of Hawaii with an impoverished white mother, smoking up marijuana in 1970s NYC, and accepting the harsh realities of Harvard Law School.
Obama has led a hard life and through music he’s able to bear his soul, which no State of Union has been able to achieve. Then came his sophomore album, Stimulus Package, which may have very well saved his hordes of fans from emotional bankruptcy. Now we have his latest album, Change, a confession of sorts about the promises he made but didn’t keep, the changes he enacted but didn’t go as planned, and the wars he could have started but didn’t. This is our POTUS at his realest.
The question is how can the most powerful man on Earth be real in an album? It’s certainly no easy feat to expose such vulnerabilities through music. This ain’t no State of Union, congress ain’t listening, no wars are being ignited or ended, national debts aren’t being settled. Change is about an internal war; settling the debts of his soul and seeking a spiritual freedom that can’t be achieved through acts of congress or increased military spending. The opening track, Bitch, Don’t Kill My Bipartisanship, is less of a rap song and more of a dialogue between Obama’s inner demons: the democrats and republicans of his soul that have commiteth the sins of unable to mediate between two entities gnawing at each other’s throats and budgets.
Then there’s the abrasive mind-fuck pair of songs, Half-Black Commie and I AM OBAMACARE. This is Obama at his angriest and most ominous. He ain’t taking any more shit from the naysayers and Fox News, this is a “fuck you” to all the haters that endlessly criticize him about turning America into a communist state and running us into piles of debt. He’s the President of the United fucking States of fucking America, the pressure is ON! And he’s had enough of all this shit being thrown at him. Sampling from Kanye West, he creates a sound that’s hits you harder than a stimulus package at GM’s face.
Overall, Change is an honest album, one that cuts the bullshit and gives us a genuine view into the most powerful man in the world. In Hold On, We’re Going To The Oval Office featuring Ed Sheeran, Obama says:
“I got my NSA on you,
You’re everything that I see
I want your hot votes and metadata, endlessly
I can’t get over you,
You left your fiat currency on me.”
This closing song is a love letter to the nation, letting us know that he may not be around for a third term but he will always have us in his heart... and NSA database. We love you, Obama. Here’s to you, for being the best prez any American can ask for.
Album art by Etele.