July 11th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama's Caribbean appeal

CNN

Watch how Obama is a hit in the Caribbean.

(CNN) - Barack Obama's political reach extends further than you think.

We’ve all seen and heard the Obama-inspired You Tube music videos - “Yes We Can” and “I Got A Crush On Obama” - that became instant Internet hits on You Tube. But now Obama is pulling in even more support, some say from an unlikely audience…Caribbean crooners.

Artists from Jamaica and Trinidad are spitting out new tunes and making a splash across the Caribbean with their political statements endorsing the Democratic presidential nominee. Jamaican musician, Cocoa Tea, sings about “Painting the Whitehouse Black” in his song “Barack Obama,” with lyrics like "Keep your eyes on the prize. Obama! Cause now enough of them a realize. The black man is in their eyes."

Cocoa Tea, who is about to begin a reggae for Obama world tour told CNN, "People really are crying out. They need to see a change in Washington...whatever happens in Washington have an impact on the whole wide world."

Other artists, like Mighty Sparrow, are also using their songs to sound off about the U.S. election. Sparrow sings about the war, congressional scandals, and Obama’s vision in his song, “Barack the Magnificent.”
Political observers say these songs aren’t just entertainment, they shape the views of communities with their pulse on U.S. affairs.

Politico.com reporter Daniel Reilly says don’t, "underestimate the importance of these songs as social commentary throughout these islands. Not only are they on the radio but people are discussing them, there are newspaper editorials about them”.

Reilly says this shows Obama is on the minds of many.

With songs like these generating heavy traffic on You Tube, Reilly says this type of political expression can only help generate interest and excitement among a new generation of voters.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama