[Barack Obama being given the cd by a fan. Not even photoshopped!]
Artist: Michael Franti & Spearhead
Album: Yell Fire!
Genre: Reggae, Hip Hop
I was first introduced to Michael Franti at the Power to the Peaceful festival that he puts on every year, which was originally a rally to free Mumia Abu-Jamal I believe, but it has become a huge concert and anti-war/hippie gathering in San Francisco. He's a hip hop artist who draws heavily from funk, reggae and rock. This album was written and recorded largely in Kingston, Jamaica and it really became a down-tempo reggae recording where he utilizes his full vocal range rather than rapping. The songs are very catchy, and the lyrics are inspired by his visit to Iraq, Israel and the occupied territories of Palestine. "The thing that I found when I was in war zones was that nobody wants to hear songs about war. They want to hear songs about connection to people, and songs about love and life, songs that make them dance." (quote from his website) Time to Go Home is especially one of my favorite songs in the world.