K’Naan Considering Lawsuit Against Mitt Romney for Using Song
Mitt Romney probably isn’t a hip-hop fan. If he were, the republican Presidential hopeful would have known that Somalian rapper K’Naan’s song, “Waving Flag” wouldn’t be too keen a choice to use as his campaign anthem. Now K’Naan tells XXL that he may take legal action against the politician.
“Romney campaign debuts new victory song. ‘Wavin Flag’ by K’NAAN,” tweeted Jon Ward, a Senior Political Reporter for The Huffington Post, following the former Massachusetts governor’s win in the Florida Republican primary Tuesday night.
“My manager called me on the phone and was like, ‘Hey, Mitt Romney has just used your song and people are hitting me up like crazy,'” K’Naan told XXLMag.com. “Then I checked my e-mails and Twitter and, sure enough, it’s blowing up with crazy outrage.”
As a result, the rapper, known for his social commentary and political leanings in his music that are philosophically opposed to those in Romney’s platform, took to Twitter to voice his displeasure. “Yo @mittromney I am K’naan Warsame and I do not endorse this message,” he wrote.
K’Naan confirmed to XXLMag.com that he not only plans on reaching out to Romney’s camp to ask that the song not be used (“We’re definitely doing that”), but that they may take legal action, as well.
“I might even go further, because I don’t like what that does to me as an artist,” he continued. “I don’t really like the association of a song that I created, and such a personal song, being used in that context; [it] changes the way people feel about the song. It’s damaging to me.”
If he were to win the suit, the rhymeslinger said he’d make good use of the money he’s awarded, stating, “If we’re successful in the suit, I would happily contribute the damages to the Obama campaign.”
Though K’Naan’s “Waving Flag” became hugely popular in 2010—it was chosen as Coca-Cola’s promotional anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in multiple countries—the rapper stressed that it isn’t right for this particular situation.
“Everybody thinks that every song that has some moving parts and good hooks is a good idea for every cause and every function, but mine couldn’t be any further than what Mitt Romney stands for,” he said. “It’s a bizarre thing. The dude is against immigration. The dude just made a statement saying that he’s not concerned for the very poor, and [he] essentially doesn’t have a foreign policy at all. And he’s using a Muslim rapper from Somalia who’s an immigrant from Canada’s song? It’s a bit hypocritical.”
K’Naan’s EP More Beautiful Than Silence dropped late last month and is available on iTunes now. —Adam Fleischer