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Obama slow jams the news with Jimmy Fallon. How does that work? (+video)

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(Read caption) Barack Obama on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."
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President Obama slow jammed the news Tuesday. He did fine, though he seemed a little ... academic. Of course, he was discussing student loans, which is not an easy topic to croon about over a beat laid down by Jimmy Fallon’s house band, The Roots.

OK, we will back up here and explain this to people who have no idea what we’re talking about, which included us until very lately. Mr. Obama on Tuesday afternoon taped an appearance for Tuesday night’s episode of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” in front of a live college audience at the University of North Carolina. As part of this, he participated in a recurring Fallon bit called “slow jamming the news,” where the funnyman’s band produces a slow R&B rhythm, while Fallon or a guest talks earnestly about something serious, like taxes. Then they build it into a tune via clever lyrics from backup singers.

A slow jam is like those bits of Barry White songs where he’s talking while the band plays in the background, then he rumbles into song about a subject that requires multiple repetitions of the word “baby."

On Tuesday, Obama looked into the camera and said, “Now is not the time to make school more expensive for our young people,” while the band played behind him.

Then Fallon swung into action. “Ohhhh yeah. You should listen to the president,” he crooned, punching up the song.

Last year Fallon did a classic slow jam with NBC News anchor Brian Williams about partisan budget bickering. It was maybe a fuller example of the slow-jamming-the-news genre.


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