In 2008, many of us voted in a presidential election for the first time. Like this one, it was a wild and sometimes anxiety-plagued year: there was a major financial crisis, we were at war in Afghanistan, Flo-Rida had his first hit single, and 808s & Heartbreak dropped.
In September of that year, Jeezy released his third official album, The Recession, which was anchored by “My President,” a song which made everything else feel more OK, and, as far as I’m concerned, clinched Obama’s victory, and a better future for the rest of us.
“We would like to launch a rocket into the sky that played this song,” someone at The FADER wrote at the time, under an uncredited byline. “It would play it for the Gaza strip and play it for all of the mourning people in Oakland, California. We would like to go back in time and play it for Rodney King and play it for all of the people in Nigeria who have seen their resources depleted by Shell. We want to play it for all of the victims of the terrorist kidnappings in Mumbai… When Barack Obama is at work, we at FADER will be in the office and we are happy about that because we know so many people have lost their jobs. We are going to watch the inauguration on mute and play this song.”
That all still rings true, even eight years later, on this thousandth day of the terrible 2016 campaign. Today, as America prepares to elect Obama’s successor, Jeezy looks back on “My President,” speaking on what that song meant for him, and the culture at large.