Back in early February, when the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am posted a music video onto YouTube, little did he know he'd not only be joining the Obama movement—he'd be starting a movement of his own. His "Yes We Can" music video, inspired by Obama's concession speech in New Hampshire, has been viewed over five million times on his illwilly YouTube channel alone, and has itself inspired a slew of knockoffs, parodies, and tributes.
The first of these to gain attention was a video parody from Election08 entitled john.he.is. Aimed at John McCain, and using a similar soundtrack and style as the will.i.am video, it edits together snippets from several of McCain's stump speeches—but for a decidedly different effect.
Meanwhile, this video entitled yes.we.will from johnnyhardwick pokes fun at Hillary Clinton, who shortly after New Hampshire (and the viral success of will.i.am's video) tried out a new campaign slogan at one of her rallies.
Some of the knock-offs take a less partisan, more absurdist approach, such as this one from G4TV, a political music video "inspired" by Attack of the Show's Cobra Commander. Meanwhile, this video from welovegamerz pays tribute to "the man who dares against all odds to spend the tax rebate George W. is giving him on a HDTV and an X-Box 360. Yes...He…Can."
But parodies and send-ups aside, it's clear will.i.am's video has resonated with millions of people around the world—as demonstrated in the above video from Obamediadotcom appropriately entitled "Yes We Can International." And if one needed further proof of its impact, this performance by a college a cappella singing group indicates that we'll be hearing this song—and seeing more knockoffs and tributes—for a long time to come.