Jay-Z Makes a New Video for Obama

Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 15 2012 7:25 PM

Jay-Z Makes a Video for Obama

Jay-Z_PowerOfOurVoice_ObamaVideo
Jay-Z appears in a new video for the Obama campaign.

Still from YouTube.

In a new video posted today by the Obama campaign, Jay-Z sits down to stump for President Obama. The video is called “The Power of Our Voice,” and in it a surprisingly meek and soft-spoken Hova speaks to his fans about the hope Obama brought to the country in 2008, especially to those who had felt that their voice would never be heard.

Jay-Z doesn’t get into specifics, but the ad seems to focus in particular on young people and African Americans. President Obama, for his part, notes that Jay-Z didn’t come from power or privilege to reach his success—a message that is at once a gesture toward the American Dream, a summation of one of Jay-Z’s favorite themes, and possibly a very indirect reference to Mitt Romney’s own privileged background.

That last bit comes from Obama’s own appearance (via video screen) at Jay-Z’s Made in America festival in Philadelphia last month. Like Obama’s speech there, the slick two-minute video seems to walk a fine line between broad PSA to get out the vote and targeted campaign ad.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

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