“ELECTION TIME” IS COMING— FROM MUSICIAN-POLITICIAN WYCLEF JEAN
Hip-Hop Artist and Former Haitian Presidential Candidate
Debuts New Track on “They Win. U Lose.” Website
NEW YORK—Oct. 25, 2010—Grammy Award–winning musician Wyclef Jean has moved from running for election in his home country of Haiti to writing music about elections. The former presidential candidate will premiere his new song “Election Time” today on the website of “They Win. U Lose.” (www.theywinulose.com ), where it will be streamed for a limited time.
Like many other Clef songs, this track mixes history, politics, pop culture, the artist’s life—but this one arrived in the studio fresh off a rough campaign trail and eyes open even wider to a world of suffering, change and questions. Witness sample lyrics from one of the verses: “Alternative energy or oil in your SUV/Tell me what you’re looking for, we about to have a poll/Gun control, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturer/Hip-hop be my culture/Tell me what you think about us.”
“After a month of campaigning for president of Haiti and the first six months after the earthquake helping the country start rebuilding, I sat back and looked around. What I saw and felt in the U.S., my second home country, with all the haters and money craziness in the campaigns, it almost puts the chaos of Haitian politics to shame, you know? It’s about making your voice heard. That’s what’s important, and I know that better than ever, so I want to reach the young people to remind them,” said Jean. “I asked ‘They Win. U Lose.’ to stream ‘Election Time’ because they’re helping leaders who are doing the right thing and they are reaching people fast. But unless the people go to cast their vote, ‘Election Time’ is just another song or protest, gone in the wind. This generation and we the people feel like something has to be done—and this starts with stepping up to vote.”
“They Win. U Lose.” is a new campaign designed to get voters—especially those aged 20 to 40, with a focus on African-American voters in that age group—to the polls for midterm elections nationwide on Nov. 2. A project of Campaign Money Watch, part of the nonpartisan Public Campaign Action Fund, “They Win. U Lose.” is meant to hold politicians accountable for their opposition to campaign finance reform and help average Americans take greater control over the political and policymaking process by getting out to vote and not letting special-interest money choose the next U.S. Congress.
The $750,000 paid- and earned-media campaign will specifically encourage voter participation in six key states: Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Many celebrities in addition to Jean are supporting campaign efforts. Visit the “They Win. U Lose.” website for updates.
Also on the campaign’s website, a Twitter feed (@theywinulose) will help find younger voters where they live—on social media—and drive attention to the campaign. A Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheyWinULose) designed as a pledge-to-vote campaign will help ensure that voters follow through on the commitment they’ll make there, publicly, to get to the polls.
In the 48 hours before the election, “They Win. U Lose.” will push into overdrive, with a celebrity satellite media tour and a Tweetathon—called “Election Time,” after this new Wyclef hit—two days of continuous tweeting designed to get people who are tweeting to meet in real life, to significantly up awareness and visibility for the need to get out and vote on Nov. 2, 2010.
About Wyclef Jean
The Haitian-born Grammy-winning musician and record producer first hit the public eye as part of the Fugees. He has released eight solo albums since 1997, with another due to be released at the end of 2010. In 2005, Jean was the main force behind establishing the Yéle Haiti foundation. The NGO has helped Haitians continuously since that time, with programs ramped up significantly after the January 2010 earthquake that left 230,000 people dead and more than 1 million homeless. Among many other programs, Yéle Haiti delivers food and water, runs a job-creation and job-training program, collects and delivers clothing, repairs schools, plants trees, builds temporary homes, and organizes sports and arts activities for youth. On Aug. 5, 2010, Jean relinquished his leadership role in the organization to make a bid for the presidency of Haiti. Less than a month later, Haiti’s electoral council announced that Jean (along with 14 others) had been disqualified as a candidate. Jean has won the Vanguard trophy from the NAACP for his humanitarian efforts on behalf of his native Haiti and was named 2010 Artist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation of Harvard University. He is currently a visiting fellow in Africana studies at Brown University.
About Campaign Money Watch
Campaign Money Watch is a project of the nonpartisan Public Campaign Action Fund. The organization works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or go to campaignmoneywatch.com for more information.