Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, is now a rap sensation.
According to the Associated Press, the 65-year-old recently released a rap song and video that has taken the East African nation by storm. The single, entitled “U Want Another Rap,” is receiving heavy rotation in clubs and on the radio and even has spawned a ringtone.
The rap track comes just three months prior to the nation’s February elections. Museveni’s supporters gathered at a rally in Northern Uganda last week requesting him to perform the single. He agreed and gravelly recited the lyrics which speak about getting ahead in life and making something out of nothing.
“The old man knows how to sing. He has come up with a good strategy to win youths in Uganda,” Amos Opio, a 24-year-old supporter told the AP.
But Museveni, who has been in office since 1986, has also garnered opposition along the way. Comments found on the song’s YouTube posting reveal that others want new roads rather than new raps. In addition, the song is delivered in Runyankore, a language mainly in southwestern Uganda by the Nkore people.
According to BBC News.com, Museveni has been praised by the U.S. for Uganda’s improvements since his entrance into office. The country’s economy has experienced an annual growth of five percent and it has been commended for its fight against poverty. Additionally, primary school education enrollment has doubled and HIV levels have decreased due to a sweeping anti-AIDS campaign designed by the president. In 1998, he was described by then-President Bill Clinton as the head of a new breed of African leaders.
Museveni’s strategy to appeal to the hip-hop generation mirrors President Barack Obama’s embrace of popular culture during his 2008 campaign.
With notable hip-hop supporters including Jay-Z, Russell Simmons and Sean Combs, Obama won the youth vote with 68 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds preferring him over his opponent John McCain, according to the Washington Post’s theRoot.Com.