This Unofficial Eric Garcetti 'Urban Latino Beat' Song Means The 2020 Campaign Is Here
As you prepare to digest an abundance of Thanksgiving food, we've got something else for you to digest -- the 2020 presidential campaign is already starting. And it's bringing songs with it.
While he has yet to announce whether he'll run, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's getting a song from boosters. It joins a long line of both official and unofficial anthems that have become bigger than ever thanks to the hope in every politics junkie's mind that viral success is just around the corner.
Here's a look at both our mayor's new song and those that have come from overly enthusiastic political backers before.
ERIC GARCETTI: ARE YOU READY... GARCETTI
"Are You Ready... Garcetti" was commissioned by supporters of Mayor Garcetti to help generate buzz around him for a potential run at the presidency. It's not officially part of the campaign, but it's what backer Nathalie Rayes describes as an "urban Latino beat song" that's meant to introduce Garcetti across the country.
The song mixes sound clips from Garcetti with Latin beats, with a YouTube video overlaid with photos of the mayor set in rhythm with the drums. The song is largely Spanish language, emphasizing his multicultural heritage.
It tries to mix Garcetti's own story in with key campaign issues, such as the mayor's support for human rights. You'll see plenty of photos of Garcetti with children and working people, along with other images meant to sell him as the 2020 candidate of choice.
BARACK OBAMA: YES WE CAN
As enthusiasm for Barack Obama reached a fever pitch during the 2008 campaign, the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am decided to get together a bunch of celebrity fans to record a song filled with Obama quotes and built around Obama's campaign refrain of "Yes we can." The song has perhaps the best musical pedigree on this list, with great vocalists like John Legend lending their skills to the tune and Herbie Hancock offering some piano -- though the gaggle of celebrities also set it up as being ripe for parody.
HERMAIN CAIN: THE HERMAN CAIN TRAIN
The Godfather's Pizza CEO who made a run for the Republican nomination played to his party's base with a country song promoting his southern roots. It's also one of two songs on this list using the expression "raising Cain." It takes the train analogy and makes it literal with lots of train imagery, thanks to his nicely rhyme-able name. Cain also makes time to allude to the basics of his economic plan. Back when he still hosted The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert laid into the song and the video's low production values, but Cain showed he could take a joke by appearing on the show and even doing an event with him.
HILLARY CLINTON: STAND WITH HILLARY
Perhaps unexpectedly, it's a Democratic country song. The song feels like it was almost produced by a country music robot, hitting the notes of Clinton's life and putting it into a down-home narrative.
JOHN MCCAIN: RAISIN' MCCAIN
The other "raising Cain" song! This country tune has a rousing sound, but it doesn't avoid darker themes -- it spends a verse running through McCain's time as a P.O.W. in Vietnam, backed by guitar and fiddle.
BARACK OBAMA: CRUSH ON OBAMA BY OBAMA GIRL
In the early days of YouTube, this marks one of the first songs to be labeled a viral hit. "Obama Girl's" slightly off-tune vocals and her use of showing skin to promote her political message were questioned, but she left an impression with a tune that even spawned its own parodies.
HILLARY CLINTON: HILLARY IN THE HOUSE
So much earnestness. It was another early viral video, getting attention during the 2008 campaign -- before being resurrected (to less fanfare) going into the 2016 campaign with a fully produced techno remix:
BOB DOLE: DOLE MAN
Bob Dole embraced "Dole Man" on the campaign trail. It was a new version of the classic "Soul Man," reworked by Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, who popularized the original. But it turned out that Moore didn't have the rights to do so, and the new version of the song got shut down. Moore's gone on to support other Republicans over the years -- including performing at Donald Trump's inauguration.
OLDER CAMPAIGN SONGS
Most campaigns have used popular pop, rock, or country songs in recent decades, but either original or customized songs used to be more in vogue. Here's a list of more of those classics:
- George H.W. Bush: The George Bush Song
- Richard Nixon: Nixon's The One, and Nixon Now
- Barry Goldwater: Go with Goldwater
- Lyndon Johnson: Hello, Lyndon!
- John F. Kennedy: High Hopes (modified with Kennedy-specific lyrics)
- Dwight Eisenhower: I Like Ike
- Warren Harding: Harding, You're the Man for Us
- Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln and Liberty, and Battle Cry of Freedom
- William Henry Harrison: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too
- Andrew Jackson: The Hunters of Kentucky
- James Madison: Huzzah for Madison, Huzzah
- John Adams: Adams and Liberty
You made it! Congrats, you read the entire story, you gorgeous human. This story was made possible by generous people like you. Independent, local journalism costs $$$$$. And now that LAist is part of KPCC, we rely on that support. So if you aren't already, be one of us! Help us help you live your best life in Southern California. Donate now.