Chicago’s home boy should pick a home girl

Posted: November 30, 2008 by ginavivinetto in music, politics, Trish Bendix
Tags: , , , , ,

By Trish Bendix

Barack Obama has won his place in the White House, so naturally, the next topic of discussion: What music will he be Barackin’ to at his inauguration?


Beyonce and her boo Jay-Z have already been secured, and rumor has it Britster Leona Lewis will also be on hand, but what about Obama’s hometown pride? Most media outlets and blogs have nominated a handful of Chicago-based artists (those recognized in the mainstream, anyhow) and they all look very similar:

Fall Out Boy
Kanye West
Smashing Pumpkins

One thing these dudes all have in common? Well, they’re dudes. (As of press time, D’Arcy still hadn’t rejoined the Pumpkins but that could certainly change at a moment’s notice. Also, Pete Wentz still counts as a dude, I don’t care how andrgynous your tween sister says he is.)

Jennifer Hudson would be a great Chicago pick, as she wowed with the National Anthem at Barack’s request for his accepting of the democratic party’s nomination. However, family issues might be keeping her out of comission as of now, and I can understand why it might seem insensitive to say, “Hey, Jen. Care to come croon for our country?”

Obama Music

Judging from Rolling Stone’s profile of the president elect, I can conclude that he might enjoy more dude performers, generally:

“…growing up, he listened to Elton John and Earth, Wind & Fire but that Stevie Wonder was his ultimate musical hero during the 70s. The Stones` track “Gimme Shelter” topped his favorite songs from the band. His selection also contained 30 songs from Dylan.”

However, there was also a mention of having Sheryl Crow on his iPod. Sheryl Crow, not from Chicago. (Sorry, Obama.)

So if he were to stay true to Chi-Town, he’d most likely be picking a singer-songwriter with a little pop-edge to their soul, and maybe someone over the age of 30. If he really wanted to get crazy, he could choose someone not only older, wiser and with some amazing chops, but with some civil rights history of her own.

How about Mavis Staples, Barack? I urge you to consider her. Her songs echo basically echo is campaign: “Have a Little Faith,” “We’ll Never Turn Back,” “Eyes on the Prize.” Beat that, Beyonce. Just try and follow one of those songs with “Bootylicious.”


One of the original Staples Singers, Mavis recently released a statement about Obama’s election, saying, “It is so surreal, so completely overwhelming. This young black man has inspired and brought the country together. There’s something about him that makes me feel he is the chosen one. There’s something about his leadership that makes people feel calm and safe.”

Someone get Mavis on the phone. (I bet she still has a 312 area code.)

And if all else fails, Sheryl Crow was born in Missouri. That’s close enough, right?

  1. ginavivinetto says:

    Other chicks from Chicago: Liz Phair, Da Brat. Patti Smith was born in Chicago –does that count?
    Too bad Wesley Willis isn’t around anymore.

  2. Kevin Croitz says:

    Barack’s first song in the white house should be Superfly, that would be sexy

  3. trish says:

    I would count Patti Smith. Barack, care to comment?

  4. Carrie Waite says:

    Neko Case wasn’t born there, but I’m pretty sure she calls Chicago “home”.

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