K’naan to Mitt Romney: If You Don’t Like the Poor, ‘Don’t Use Their Songs’
We never figured Mitt Romney for a hip-hop connoisseur — despite the fact that he likely has an “other other benz” — but we were still surprised by his incredibly idiotic decision to use K’naan‘s ‘Wavin’ Flag’ as a campaign anthem, Spinner reports. The Somali-Canadian rapper penned the track about the strife in his native Mogadishu, a subject that isn’t exactly relevant to the Republican presidential candidate’s message.
In January, Romney used the track to celebrate his victory in the Florida primary, leading K’naan to tweet, “Yo @mittromney I am K’naan Warsame and I do not endorse this message.”
As with all things related to politics, the story quickly blew up and K’naan found himself in the middle of a minor controversy. “All I did was I wrote the tweet. Yeah, it was crazy,” he tells Spinner. “It did hit a lot of people like it hit me, the [inappropriateness] of that.”
The timing of the brouhaha was pretty spectacular, given Romney’s next — and much bigger — controversy. “It was like the amazing orchestration of life that he went on TV the next day and said ‘I’m not concerned with the very poor,’” the soft-spoken rapper says with a chuckle. “Don’t use their songs, then.”
Despite his anger, K’naan decided to let the frenzy die out. “[We weren't] trying to make a bigger deal about it than it really was,” he says. “I’m not like a capitalist on problems. I wouldn’t feel good about pushing anything further. I just felt like I was getting the bad end of the bargain in a way because fans were writing me like crazy, crazy messages on Twitter, like I was [supporting him]. It was not a nice thing to do.”
K’naan’s next album, ‘Country, God or the Girl’ is due out in May and features guest spots from Bono, Nas, Keith Richards and Nelly Furtado. Check back on Spinner soon for a long interview and exclusive photos with him!
Watch K’naan’s ‘Wavin’ Flag’ Video