Why ‘My President Is Black’ is the most important rap song of this generation

Photo credit: Instagram – @barackobama

In the summer of 2008, Jeezy released the most important rap song of this generation. The entire concept came about in June after Jeezy received an instrumental from producer The Bizness. Jeezy was instantly inspired by the epic sounds featured on the track and decided to write.

On that same day, Barack Obama defeated Hilary Clinton to become the Democratic presidential nominee. It was also the first time a Black candidate led a major party ticket. Although Obama accomplished a major achievement by becoming the Democratic nominee, he still faced an uphill battle. Although he faced the obvious obstacle of being a Black man, some thought that he was too young and inexperienced to lead the country.

But Jeezy, who never considered himself a rapper who focused on politics, decided to make a bold prediction. On June 3, 2008, Jeezy completed the first version of “My President Is Black.”

The song detailed Jeezy’s thoughts on poverty, mass incarceration, and other issues faced by a multitude of Blacks in America. But it also featured a chorus that became a rallying cry for change. When Jeezy raps, “My president is Black, my Lambo’s blue,” it speaks to achieving the impossible. But in the next line he raps, “My momma at home, my daddy’s still in jail. And I’m trying to make a play, anybody see my scale?” The song perfectly described the dichotomy of living in a country where hope and despair live side by side.

When Def Jam officially released the single as “My President” in August 2008, a verse from Nas was added and the video was shot on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta in front of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

By the time Obama made history on Nov. 4, 2008, “My President” became the official song that summed up the thoughts and dreams of an entire generation. Eight years later, the song still resonates as proof that the impossible can be achieved regardless of obstacles.

Thousands of rap songs have been released since the summer of 2008. However, “My President” stands alone as a significant work of art that will define an era.


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