Tonight I’m reading a special pull-out section of the Los Angeles Times about Obama. It’s a powerful statement about a turning point in American history. There’s also a beautiful Obama photo essay on-line at www.latimes.com.
All links in article go to the Music Store on iTunes.
I was reminded of a video I found with Obama talking about his iPod playlist and his views about Hip Hop and it’s potential role in education. When asked if he likes Hip Hop, Obama says, “Of Course.” He’s currently listening to JayZ, American Gangster and Kanye. He likes them both because “it tells a story”.
Here are a few quotes from the interview. Scroll down and click the ‘play’ button below to see the entire video on YouTube.
“I have to admit, I still am an old-school guy. I’m still Stevie…Marvin. If you look at my iPod, it’s Earth, Wind and Fire, Isley Brothers, Temptations. I’ve got a lot of that old school stuff”, Obama said.
Obama loves the art of hip hop but not always the message of hip hop. “There are times where..there is a message that is not only sometimes degrading to women. Not only uses the “N” word a little too frequently, but also, something I’m really concerned about, is it’s always talking about material things and always talking about how I can get something”, he said.
When asked if there was a place in his White House to find an effective way to use Hip Hop in education, Obama answered “absolutely, I don’t think there’s any doubt that it (Hip Hop) can be (effective).”
Other things Obama had to say about Hip Hop:
“The potential for them to deliver a message of extraordinary power that gets people thinking…The way that they can communicate a complex message in a very short amount of space is remarkable. A lot of these kids aren’t going to be reading the New York Times, that’s not how they’re getting their information so the question then is what it is the content, what’s the message?”
“Hip hop is not just a mirror of what is, it should also be a reflection of what can be”, Obama said.
He encouraged people to
“Imagine something different
Imagine communites that aren’t torn up by violence
Imagine communities where we’re respecting our women
Imagine communities where knowledge and reading and academic exellence are valued
Imagine communities where fathers are doing right by their kids
That’s also something that has to be reflected.
Art can’t just be a rear view, it should have a headlight out there, according to where we need to go”, Obama concluded.
The interviewer ends the conversation with a quote of his own: “Hip Hop needs to have the audacity of hope.” Obama agrees.