How long does it take for a viral YouTube video to go from being launched to reaching me? Six days, apparently. I must not be one of the cool kids anymore.
From the Los Angeles Times, “Obama song resonates on the Internet“:
The Barack Obama-boosting music video “Yes We Can” hit the Net on Friday and by Super Tuesday it had been streamed a staggering 10 million times on YouTube and the website www.yeswecansong.com.
Produced by multi-platinum-selling rapper-producer will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, the elegiac, reggae-tinged composition isn’t a campaign commercial, per se.
“This is an ode to inspiration,” will.i.am said. “Barack’s speech inspired me. It changed my life as far as how I look at myself as an American. If that’s what he does, the world could use some of that. It’s about making people think about change and hope.”
The video features clips of the presidential candidate in New Hampshire delivering his Jan. 8 “Yes We Can” stump speech, inter-cut against a cross-section of A-list actors, musicians and athletes: Scarlett Johansson, John Legend, Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Herbie Hancock, rapper Common and Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls among them. In black and white, they sing, mouth and recite Obama’s messages about hope, change and social uplift against a plain black backdrop.
will.i.am said he does not plan to sell downloads of the song, preferring to keep it free so that its core messages reach as many people as possible. And trying to come to grips with the video’s out-of-nowhere impact, the normally loquacious rapper-singer-producer is for once at a loss for words.
“This is the nuttiest thing in the freaking world,” he said. “It’s not propaganda. It’s not part of a campaign. There’s no corporation behind it — the record company couldn’t get involved. I did it on my own. The only thing behind it is the people. And that’s like, wow!”
I have no idea what it cost to produce this video, but its worth a million bucks.