Yes, Michelle Obama is working on a rap album — sorta. True enough, the First Lady leads the Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded at the same time as her Let’s Move! campaign. And yes, the Partnership for a Healthier America announced on June 3 it was partnering with like-minded group Hip Hop Public Health to release an album titled Songs for a Healthier America.
But whatever the FLOTUS’ personal involvement may be with the album, samples from each track are already online. You can preview the whole thing now right here. DMC, Jordin Sparks, Ashanti, Matisyahu, E Street Band’s Nils Lofgren, and Blink 182’s Travis Barker are among the better-known contributors. Containing such songs as “U R What You Eat” and “We Like Vegetables,” the 19-song set is about “making the healthy choice the easy choice,” Partnership for a Healthier America’s Drew Nannis said in a statement.
News of the Obama-linked compilation has been spreading since a Politico report earlier today. US News & World Report noted earlier this month that the album would be released properly on September 30, with 10 music videos planned to follow. The videos would then be circulated across various schools in cities throughout the country, starting with New York City. (Partnership for a Healthier America’s June 3 statement said the album “is available for free” on the group’s website, but that doesn’t appear to be the case right now, unfortunately.)
The First Lady being connected with a hip-hop album is a welcome development. So is her continued support for helping children learn healthy eating habits. Still, this might not be quite the “Michelle Obama rap album” that rap fans might welcome and Bill O’Reilly might smugly condemn. Also, you may quickly notice this isn’t quite Cookie Monster’s Icona Pop PSA when it comes to entertainment value for non-kids.
Below, watch the video for opening track “Everybody,” which samples an Obama speech and features Doug E. Fresh, Sparks, and TV medical personality Dr. Oz. Check out an 11-minute behind-the-scenes video below that.
Songs for a Healthier America track list:
1. “Everybody” (feat. Jordin Sparks, Doug E Fresh, Ryan Beatty, Artie Green, Dr Oz and the Hip Hop Doc)
2. “U R What You Eat” (feat. Salad Bar [Matisyahu, Ariana Grande, Travis Barker])
3. “Let’s Move” (feat. Doug E Fresh, Artie Green, Chauncey Hawkins, Easy AD)
4. “Just Believe” (feat. Ashanti, Gerry Gunn, Artie Green, Robbie Nova, Chauncey Hawkins)
5. “Veggie Luv” (feat. Monifah and J Rome)
?6. “Hip Hop FEET (Finding Exercise Energy Thresholds)” (feat. DMC, Artie Green, and Chauncey Hawkins)
7. “Stronger” (feat. Shayna Steele, Jeremy Jordan, Our Time, Nils Lofgren)
8. “Give Myself a Try” (feat. Ryan Beatty)
?9. “Jump Up (It’s a Good Day) Let’s Move version” (feat. Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could)
10. “Hip Hop LEAN” (feat. Artie Green)
11. “Pass the Rock” (feat. Iman Shumpert and Artie Green)
12. “Good Living” (feat.. Ashton Jones)
13. “Beautiful” (feat. Daisy Grant and Artie Green)
14. “Change the Game” (feat. The Happiness Club and Naledge)
15. “Wanna Jump (Let’s Move)” (feat. Paul Burch and WPA Ballclub)
16. “Mother May I?” (feat. Amelia Robinson)
17. “We Like Vegetables” (feat. Los Barkers!)
18. “Get Up Sit Up” (feat. Ian James and Ricky Baitz)
19. “One Step Forward” (feat. Samite)