Will.i.am Explains Obama Support Song ‘Yes We Can’

By Allen Starbury  |  02/07/2008

Black Eyed Peas' frontman, Will.i.am, leaked a new song and video on Friday (February 1), just before Super Tuesday (February 5) in support of Democratic primary Barack Obama and to date has been streamed a staggering 10 million times via YouTube and its website, YesWeCanSong.com.

Produced by the rapper-producer, the song is about "change and hope," he told the Los Angeles Times recently, saying he's inspired by Obama and supports what he represents -- change.

"This is an ode to inspiration," Will.i.am told the paper. "Barack's speech inspired me. It changed my life as far as how I look at myself as an American. If that's what he does, the world could use some of that. It's about making people think about change and hope."

The viral video features clips of Obama in New Hampshire delivering his January 8 "Yes We Can" stump speech, accompanied by a slew of A-list actors, musicians and athletes -- including Scarlett Johansson, John Legend, Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Herbie Hancock, and Common, among several others.

During the video, which is in black and white, the celebs sing, mouth and recite Obama's messages about hope, change and social uplift against a plain black backdrop.

(Watch "Yes We Can" here).

According to the Los Angeles Times, the original plan for the video "Yes We Can" was to record Will.i.am and friends in a January recording session, but the aforementioned celebs became involved.

"It was very organic. It came out of everyone's belief in Barack's speech. His speech is so eloquent, Will became passionate about it -- passionate enough to make a song about it," filmmaker Jesse Dylan, who helped the rapper film the video, told the paper.

Will.i.am says that although the song has garnering overwhelming response, he will not sell it. Instead, he plans to keep it free, so that its message reaches as many people as possible.