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November 4th, 2012
07:17 AM ET

EXCLUSIVE: Will.i.am reveals '#GreatTimes' voting PSA to Soledad O'Brien

In a CNN exclusive, Soledad O'Brien sits down with musician Will.i.am to talk about his new PSA '#GreatTimes' and the importance of voting.

"I've been asked a bunch of times, 'When are you going to do another song like 'Yes we Can?'" he tells Soledad. "I don't know if it's time for that. I don't know if the world needs that right now."

"I've been working with the kids in the community center i'm building, and that's the reason why I needed to put a song out there to encourage kids, to encourage youth to realize that great times are coming via them," he says.

The song's goal was to be uplifting and encourage young people to vote, Will.i.am says. But as Soledad points out, the lyrics "Great times are coming, coming down your boulevard,...I can see it from a bird's eye view" might lead folks to think this is a song to encourage support for President Obama.

"'Yes We Can' wasn't a political song to me when I made it," he says. "I didn't talk to the campaign when I did 'Yes We Can.' 'Yes We Can' was to inspire teachers to teach [President Obama's 2008] speech in schools."

He adds, "It was for teachers to teach a speech that represented how far we have come as a country. There's only a couple of speeches they teach in school. We haven't seen a speech taught by a current political leader or public speaker since Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy."

Soledad asks what the message is that he wants people to take from his PSA.

"I'm speaking from my heart," he says. "Whether you're voting for Romney, or you're on the fence, or you're voting for Obama and you haven't voted yet, you need to make your voice heard."


Filed under: 2012 Race
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