Reggae still backs Barack

By Howard Campbell Observer senior writer

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

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FOUR years ago when Barack Obama was on the verge of becoming the first black president of the United States, the reggae community threw its weight behind him.

Singers Cocoa Tea and Screwdriver and singjay Tony Rebel were some of the artistes who recorded songs in tribute to the Democratic senator from Illinois who defeated Republican John McCain by a landslide in the October, 2008 election.

With the US election less than three months away, Obama is in a tight battle against Republican Mitt Romney for re-election. Despite the odds being much higher this time around, the reggae support is intact.

"I an' I know sey Obama a go do it a second time an' we'll rejoice even more," said Screwdriver, who lives in the city of Margate, Florida.

"A lotta people expected miracles but yuh can't change everything in four years," he added.

The Montego Bay-born Screwdriver recorded the song Jah Send Him Come in tribute to Obama in 2008. He has no plans for another song but told the Jamaica Observer that he is recruiting voters in Margate to vote for the president.

Florida, which is home to massive retirement and immigrant communities, has again been cast as one of the so-called battleground states.

Screwdriver, best known for the song Sharon (A Pregnant yuh Pregnant), pointed to the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and granting of amnesty to illegal immigrants as two major positives for the Obama administration.

Rebel recorded Blackman Redemption along with Nikki Burt and Queen Ifrica four years ago, to celebrate Obama's victory.

He told the Observer that he tuned into the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida last week and plans to do the same for the Democratic National Convention which opens today in Charlotte, North Carolina.

According to Rebel, Obama has done a "tremendous job" and deserves a second term.

"Under the circumstances which he took over the country, he has done really well," said Rebel. "I think he would have done even better if the Congress had not deliberately blocked him in critical areas."

Jah Send Him Come and Blackman Redemption were two of the reggae songs that hailed Obama's historic rise from the Illinois state senate to the White House.

Cocoa Tea's Barack Obama got the ball rolling while Obama was campaigning for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton.

Obama is scheduled to speak at the DNC on Thursday.




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