Taking advantage of the massive support from the musical community for Barack Obama, his campaign now offers a CD entitled “Yes We Can: Voices of a Grassroots Movement.” According to The Associated Press, the $24.99 for a digital download and $30 for an actual CD will go directly to the campaign through Election Day, and after that it will be sold through other outlets.
The CD contains previously released tracks, like “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer, along with tracks specifically recorded for the album, such as “American Prayer” by Dave Stewart and “Promised Land” by Malik Yusef featuring Kanye West and Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Los Lonely Boys, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, and Stevie Wonder are also among the diverse line-up featured on the album. It was put out by Hidden Beach Recordings, a division of Universal Music Group.
According to the AP article, the McCain camp criticized Obama for using this method of fundraising. “‘It’s ironic that on a day when the economy is in turmoil, Barack Obama fails to release an economic plan, but instead chooses a celebrity rock album,’ said spokesman Tucker Bounds.”
Maybe Obama shouldn’t play into his celebrity connections so much, but I think that this is a perfectly acceptable way to make some money for the campaign. The fact that all these credible musicians back him might fuel McCain’s “Obama is a celebrity” fire, but it also speaks a lot for Obama’s message. Those in the “in crowd,” particularly the musicians who value a democratic government, are behind Obama enough that they would sell their music to further his cause. Obama’s promise of change really resonates with a large demographic, especially young voters, who are influenced by the music of the stars featured on “Yes We Can.”
A variety of stars already showed their support in will.i.am’s video “Yes We Can,” which featured stars like John Legend, Tatiana Ali, Kate Walsh, Scarlett Johansson, Common, Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Aisha Tyler, among many others. The song used clips from an Obama speech from the New Hampshire primary, and featured the celebrities singing over it with the speech serving as the lyrics. It’s a pretty inspiring piece of work, and I think the compilation CD just takes it one step further.
I really don’t think it’s wrong for Obama to profit from it, either. If famous people want to come together to help him spread his message, and it’s going to help him fund his campaign, why not?