Letter to Obama (from General Steele)


General Steele of the Cocoa Brovas (formerly Smif n Wessun, if you don’t know look ’em up) recorded this tune over a Kanye beat expressing his thoughts about Obama’s candidacy, with Dutty Artz crew member Jahdan singing the chorus. Jahdan and Steele are longtime collaborators going all the way back to the Smif n Wessun classic ‘Sound Bwoy Buriel’, viewable below. I’ve been meaning to write a longer post about some of the things that have been great and inspirational about Obama’s candidacy. The fact that he inspires both people like Steele, Colin Powell and David Brooks to speak highly of him is a pretty crazy starting point. This guy inspires people across party lines and levels of interest in politics. I’ve met tons of people who previously didn’t give a damn about politics who have become engaged, interested and motivated because of Obama’s run. The other details which help us understand this, in a quick list, are:

1) The incredible level of skill and competency he’s shown in running his campaign. His current 11 point lead in the polls (Gallup) and incredible fundraising advantage based on small, internet based donations from voters, not corporations or lobbyists are good examples here.

2) His application of an organizing type model to the structure of his campaign. Basically by trusting volunteers to run the campaign skillfully and focusing campaign money on training people rather than paying operatives he’s created an unprecedented, incredible grassroots ground team that I think will change the way electoral politics is played. To use a cliche he’s applied the ‘give a man a fish/teach a man to fish’ saying to politics and struck political gold.

3) He’s very, very smart and talented. He can speak, write, talk policy and do it in a way that people can relate to and understand. I read his book “Dreams from my Father” and it’s great. If you are on the fence about him, have some questions, etc, READ THIS. It was written before his career in politics and it shows. It’s a very honest, thoughtful, often painful account of his early years and is an absolutely unique American story.

Steele says:

One day I was inspired to do this song.I know alot of people have their opinion about the whole election especially Obama.No I do not look at him as the savior of the “black” race.I thinkhe does represent the potential of “black” people.So I say he is a positive role model win or lose.Say what you want to as you sit on the sideline of life…Get up and Live(qoute from Nesta).This is a Kanye track that he gave Weezy,and Cynical surfed for the images,and my boy Jahdan(Noble Society)is on the Hook,and Mantecha on background vox.It’s all expression.

Sound Bwoy Buriel video:



  1. Nice one! It’s strange cuz I had not heard of Cocoa Brovas until early today (I discover the limits of my knowledge each & every day) when I heard their tune “Super Brooklyn” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TpGXaBEfXs), which is amazing. Anyone who samples Super Mario Bros & reps for Obama gets high grades in my book. Here’s to Nov 4th being a good day.

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