By Katie Byrne
If you’ve ever listened closely to K’naan’s music, you’ll note that the Somalia-born rapper paints pictures of the harsh reality of his upbringing in a war-torn country, so it’s no wonder then that he’s taken issue with Mitt Romney using his single “Waving Flag,” as part of his campaign. Without permission, Romney has played the song during some events on his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination and K’Naan has now publicly condemned this.
“I have not been asked for permission by Mitt Romney’s campaign for the use of my song,” the Somalian/Canadian rapper said in a statement to MTV News. “If I had been asked, I would certainly not have granted it. I would happily grant the Obama campaign use of my song without prejudice.”
“Waving Flag” became an international sensation back in 2010 when it was played at that year’s World Cup. With assists from will.i.am and David Guetta, the soaring tune camouflages a song about poverty and oppression in a heart-stirring call to arms to let your banner fly.
This is far from the first time a politician has used a song without an artist’s permission — actually, this isn’t even the first incident this week. According to TMZ, Survivor filed a lawsuit Monday against Newt Gingrich for using their song “Eye of the Tiger” at his events. During the 2008 presidential election, Jackson Browne sued John McCain for his use of “Running on Empty,” and John Mellencamp asked McCain to stop scoring his campaign stops with “Our Country.”
After a decisive win in Florida on Tuesday, Romney will duke it out with his fellow GOP presidential hopefuls at Saturday’s primaries in Maine and Nevada.
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