Like the majority of people in America last night experiencing that combined feeling of joy and relief as the final results in the presidential election became clear, I was really moved when Barack Obama finally got to give his acceptance speech. Not only was it an incredibly inspiring and intelligent speech, but it was also just pitch perfect, like a great symphony or the best pop song. The rhythm of his oration style, especially as he built up to the finale, systematically interspersing in his talk those three words (Yes We Can) right on rhythm, was purely musical in its delivery.
Watching and listening to Barack in Chicago last night all I could think of (besides "Thank God the Republicans are finally out") was, Wow! This speech is not just historic but it is so made for matching over beats that we are going to be hearing this particular Obama speech replayed and sampled over hip-hop instrumentals for a long long time to come. Like JFK and MLK before him, Obama's equally great oratory style is made for playing back over beats. Already he has been sampled to death in hip-hop songs, but now that he is finally elected to the top position this first hip-hop generation president will be an integral part of the genre for quite sometime to come.
While relatively young for such a high ranking job, 47 year old Barack Obama is not actually the youngest elected president of the United States of America (both Ulysses Grant & Bill Clinton were a year younger, while JFK was just 43 years old and Theodore Roosevelt was only 42 when elected to presidency), but he is the first bona fide elected US president of the hip-hop generation. In fact, he is even younger than many contemporary hip-hop figures, including Grandmaster Flash who, at age 50, is three years Barack's senior.