When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, African Americans were ecstatic over the expectation that racial equality would be achieved, and they began to put Obama in the same class as Martin Luther King Jr. However, Tricia Rose believes that Obama has not done enough to fight for racial equality, but that hopefully he will if he is elected to another term. Unfortunately, over the past four years black life under Obama has not exactly been drastically improved as hoped. In fact, the black poverty rate has increased under the Obama administration, and Obama has taken a lot of heat for this.
Lowkey intensely criticizes Obama in “Obama Nation (Part 2).” He raps, “Was the bigger threat from Osama or from Obama?” This is obviously a huge shot at Obama, as Osama Bin Laden was one of the biggest threats this nation has ever seen. He also criticizes Obama for dropping bombs on Somalia and Libya, where his own African people reside. Consequently, the music video constantly has fire around Obama’s name and his face, promoting a negative and almost dangerous perception of the president.
Although rappers like Lowkey and Lupe Fiasco have harsh words for Obama, others have praised the first black president. The reason for this praise, according to Tricia Rose, was Obama’s promotion of hip-hop music and his relationship with rappers such as Jay-Z and Common.
Furthermore, Young Jeezy celebrates Obama’s election in “My President,” by rapping, “We ready for damn change so y’all let the man shine/Stuntin’ on Martin Luther, feeling just like a king/Guess this is what he meant when he said that he had a dream.” Young Jeezy is saying that President Obama has fulfilled Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, and compares the two iconic figures. In terms of the music video, Young Jeezy has a blue Lamborghini, likely representing the Democratic Party, and black people from many different places are gathered to celebrate Obama’s election. Nevertheless, this song was written before Obama entered the middle years of his presidency, so opinions may or may not have changed since then.