On January 11 the music trio, Autograf, released a surreal and touching tribute to President Obama titled “Changes.” The song is inspired by the President’s farewell address to the nation after his eight-year presidency. Hailing from Chicago, the electronic music group watched the President, who is also a fellow Chicagoan, speak to the city on January 10. According to a Facebook post, Autograf “stayed up all night after Obama’s speech to make this.”
Smooth and yet somehow injected with Autograf’s signature groove, the three-minute song encapsulates the nostalgia, wish-fullness, and uncertainty that a large majority of Americans are feeling. The melodic and soulful sound of the song is punctuated with a heavy kick drum beat and vocal samples. Filled with overlaps and layers, “Changes” builds up with trappy drum beats that give way to a smooth electronic melody. The samples come from Tupac’s 1998 song “Changes” which Autograf derived the songs title from.
Tupac’s rap criticized the racial tensions occurring in the late 90’s that to this day the country still grapples with. By including Tupac’s vocals, Autograf sheds light on the progress America made under Obama’s leadership while simultaneously noting how much more work needs to be done in the future. Lines such as “things will never be the same” are nuanced and insightful inclusions. The trio also clipped the original line “We ain’t ready to see a black president” to “see a black president” highlighting the historical significance of President Obama’s time in office.
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Regardless of political affiliation or opinion’s towards Obama, listeners cannot deny the talent behind Autograf’s work. Creating the song in just a night, Autograf proved their musical prowess and music’s ability to convey nuanced messages in a simplistic and beautiful manner. Check out the tribute below and President Barack Obama's emotional farewell address here.