US President Barack Obama says Bob Marley’s music helped raise his awareness about the struggles of persons outside the US during his college years.
During a sit down with MTV’s Sway Calloway last Friday, the president spoke of the power of music, and zoned in on political music and its impact during Marley’s time.
“I can remember when I was in college listening and not agreeing with his whole philosophy, necessarily, but raising my awareness about how people outside of our country were thinking about the struggles for jobs and dignity and freedom,” Obama said in reference to Marley.
Others like Bob Dylan, Public Enemy and Rage Against the Machine, with political and protest songs, kept the mission going.
Obama pointed out that there was “a sense of engagement in what was happening in the anti war movement and what was happening with respect to the civil rights movement.”
“And so I would hope that we are gonna see more of that,” he added, explaining that this focus was lacking in today’s music forms.
“We haven’t seen as much directly political music, I think the most vibrant musical art-form right now over the last 10 to 15 years has been hip hop,” said Obama.
He added that young people “communicated in a lot of different ways and everything moves so fast today, you can set the world on fire just through a message that goes through the Internet.”