What's Michelle Obama doing for fun these days? Hint: It involves rap.(Read article summary)
Michelle Obama is teaming up with Jordin Sparks, Ashanti, and Run DMC on a rap album called "Songs for a Healthier America." She's been having more fun in the second term.
Sometimes a girl just wants to have fun â€“ even (or maybe especially) when sheâ€™s first lady of the United States.
Aside from vacationing on Marthaâ€™s Vineyard with her family this week, Michelle Obama has been doing a lot of that lately. She posted a selfie of herself and dog Bo on Twitter and Instagram last weekend. She danced during her kidsâ€™ â€śstate dinnerâ€ť last month. And who can forget her doing the Dougie in February on â€śLate Night with Jimmy Fallon,â€ť where she demonstrated â€śthe evolution of mom dancingâ€ť?
Now Mrs. Obama is breaking the mold again â€“ with a rap album. Sheâ€™s not singing, but she appears in one of the videos, called â€śEverybody.â€ť The album â€“ called â€śSongs for a Healthier Americaâ€ť â€“ is inspired by the first lady's Letâ€™s Move! campaign, and features big-name performers like Jordin Sparks, Ashanti, Run DMC, and Doug E. Fresh.
Song titles include â€śU R What You Eatâ€ť and â€śVeggie Luv.â€ť The album is being produced by the Partnership for a Healthier America and Hip Hop Public Health Foundation, and will be released Sept. 30. The videos will be distributed to schools in New York City before wider circulation. Fighting childhood obesity is one of Mrs. Obamaâ€™s signature causes.
But thereâ€™s another real issue behind all her joyous activities: that life in the White House can feel like being in a â€śreally nice prison.â€ť She made that comment at the African First Ladies Summit last month in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in a public conversation with former first lady Laura Bush.
â€śThere are prison elements to it,â€ť Mrs. Obama said to laughter. â€śBut itâ€™s a really nice prison, so.â€¦â€ť
â€śBut with a chef,â€ť Mrs. Bush interjected.
â€śYou can't complain,â€ť Mrs. Obama continued. â€śBut there are definitely elements that are confining.â€ť
The White House as gilded cage is a theme that goes back to the start of the republic. The first first lady, Martha Washington, once wrote to her niece that she felt like a "Chief State Prisoner."Â But in the modern era, amid omnipresent technology, escaping constant public scrutiny can be an even more daunting task.
During her husbandâ€™s first term, Mrs. Obama â€“ disguised in a ball cap and sunglasses â€“ once pulled off a trip to a suburban Target, and went largely unrecognized. But since the start of the second term, Mrs. Obama has ramped up the fun quotient. Maybe with reelection out of the way, she feels she can cut loose a little bit more.
What her daughters â€“ one a teen, the other almost â€“ think of all this public fun is another matter. We suspect theyâ€™re mortified. But Mrs. Obama actually can dance. Certainly better than her husband.