Like millions of Americans, members of the hip-hop community were excited to see Barack Obama take his place as the 44th President of the United States under a bright winter sky on January 20, 2009. He was the subject of countless hip-hop tributes throughout his presidential bid. Shortly after Obama was sworn in as the nation's first African-American President, we reached out to various artists in the hip-hop community and asked them about the significance of this event. Here's what they had to say.
Phonte (Little Brother):
"To me, Obama's presidency signifies that Black folks in this country have truly made some progress, but we still got a long way to go."
"It means a lot. I'm glad it happened in my generation. Now it's time for us to show him our support."
"To have a President that the people stand by, no matter the color of his or her skin, is a beautiful thing. I personally wish him the best and I hope that he does right by us and when I say that, I mean U.S. -- The United States."
DJ Mick Boogie
"It's huge. It's a whole new day, a brighter future, a happier present, and a distant past. America can finally shine like everyone hopes. When was the last time you saw the hip-hop nation celebrate a politician?"
"First, as a kid born to immigrant parents, I never in my childhood thought that I could be president. The election of Barack Obama into the highest office in this land destroys the ceiling that held back the dreams of many youth like myself. Second, the genius of Obama's campaign -- whether you voted for him or not -- was its call for people to act to change their future. It's a message that has been lost over the past couple of generations. If you want something done, you have to be willing to do the work to get it done -- you have to be the catalyst for change. People finally got off their butts and went to the polls and into their communities to lobby for the change they believed in. For the first time in a long time, I have hope."
"Seeing this with my own two eyes makes me all the more certain that with hard work, dedication, faith and a good heart in the right place, ANYTHING is possible. All things are attainable."
"A black man in the White House taking all our women's attention. Even if they don't know much about politics, or what a majority whip is, Barack has 'em whipped. Dear Barack, we want our women back! They are hyping him up like he's the Lord and savior, so the expectations for Obama are extremely high. It's almost unfair! I sincerely hope smart, grown up black men become the hot thing. If so, I'm bout to blow!"
"It marks the beginning of a unified America. It shows that in this great country of ours that anything is possible. It signifies that where there is hope that change can come. Where I am from, hope is the one thing that everybody has, and everybody is praying for a change. This is the beginning of what I see as change in our country and it gives everyone hope for a better tomorrow."
Madd Hatta (Radio Personality):
"I shared the historic moment with co-workers. You've been led to believe from childhood that the President's office is out of reach. You can be an entertainer, play sports, trashman, etc but President? Never! There are no excuses now. You work hard, stay focused and stay of faith, then anything is possible. God Bless America!"
Jake One: "For one of the first times in my life I feel proud to be an American."
"It signifies how far the United States has come in realizing the possibility of opportunity, the audacity of hope and the power of unity when all come together for a common cause. Also, as a person of color and minority in the United States of America, despite the odds that are stacked against one, you can rise above them and attain what God has placed before you to achieve. Thirdly, it signifies that it is still one step in a right direction. "The dream" has not yet been fully realized; though it is a work in progress and progress has been made thus far."