Boogie Down Barack

Riptide offers to DJ Obama's inaugural ball.

When Barack and Michelle Obama take the floor for his ceremonial first dance at the inaugural ball this Tuesday, we suggest they do the pretzel — you know, Dubya's sworn enemy, the thing he choked on? We have some thoughts about which song should be playing too:

"99 Problems," Jay-Z

Lyric: "If you're having girl problems, I feel bad for you son/I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one."

Perhaps no song sums up Obama's situation as perfectly as this one. Not since FDR has a new president entered office with the nation facing as many complex problems — the bottomed-out economy, America's ruined reputation, Iran, Iraq, Gitmo. But at least Obama found his vanquished foe Hillary a cabinet spot that should keep her off his back — until Bill once again gets his paws on a microphone.

"You Gotta Go!" Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Lyric: "You gotta go; this is not your address/You've worn out my patience; Time for you to go somewhere else."

This Boston ska band tells the tale of welcoming an alcoholic buddy to sleep on the couch for a few days and lending him a "substantial chunk of cash," only to have him drive the house to ruin. Sound familiar? The lyric "You've lost my cat and broke my TV" pretty much sums up the Bush presidency — just insert "budget surplus" and "diplomatic goodwill" instead.

"Personal Jesus," Depeche Mode

Lyric: "Feeling unknown and you're all alone/Lift up the receiver, I'll make you a believer."

John McCain — that dude with T-Rex arms that haunted your TV screens for a couple of months — often mocked the messianic devotion Obama inspired in his followers. But now even Republicans are praying at the altar of change. Because, shit, what choice do they have?

"Chocolate City," Parliament

Lyric: "They still call it the White House/but that's a temporary condition."

In this 1975 ode to the black takeover of our nation's capital, lead singer George Clinton announced, "Don't be surprised if [Muhammad] Ali is in the White House," before appointing Richard Pryor "minister of education," Ike Turner "secretary of the treasury," Stevie Wonder "secretary of fine arts," and Aretha Franklin "first lady." His black-presidency prediction was 34 years early, but who's quibbling over details?

 
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