Mitt Romney hasn’t gotten much love from the music world over the course of his campaign. Just yesterday, Jay-Z introduced Barack Obama at a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio. Beforehand, the rapper performed his hit “99 Problems,” modifying the chorus to end with the words “but Mitt ain’t one.”
Jay-Z’s got plenty of company in Obama’s corner. Fellow rappers ranging from Young Jeezy to Common have voiced their support for the president, as have rockers like Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen–who also joined the president in Ohio–and country artists including Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw. There’s even an organization called DJs for Obama, which includes names like Steve Aoki and DJ Cassidy.
“Many of them believe he understands them,” says Marlon Hill, a Miami entertainment attorney who helped organize DJs for Obama. “He has a very intimate understanding of their life’s pursuit of prosperity and opportunity in America and the struggles you may go through as a small business owner, and as a young person who’s just come out of school, looking to contribute to society. He’s lived that.”
Romney’s best-known musical supporter? Kid Rock.
So why haven’t more of these popular music purveyors sung the praises of the former governor of Massachusetts? A quick survey of music business insiders reveals a range of reasons as broad as the industry itself. Here are a few.