You know what's been missing from Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign? I mean, like, aside from serious coverage from mainstream media outlets? A bangin' hip-hop video, that's what. Thankfully, that issue was addressed earlier this week, when a group of friends based in various states throughout the country collaborated on a new song and vid called "Bernie Damn Sanders."
The video uses old Bernie footage from the archives at CCTV Channel 17 in Burlington that alone is worth checking out — especially the opening segment featuring a young-ish Bernie clumsily referencing Rambo and "Stylvester Stalloney." BTW, local multimedia guru Bill Simmon consulted on the editing process.
The music was done by a Michigan-based hip-hop producer and DJ who goes by Wilfrid Cyrus. In a recent phone conversation, Cyrus, whose given name is Nathan Markham, explains he was approached by an East Coast friend named Daniell Krawczyk about writing a Sanders rap inspired by a bumper sticker produced by another friend based in California. (See the pic above.)
"All he told me was to call it 'Bernie Damn Sanders,'" says Markham. "So we sat down and made a beat and a rap just went with it."
The song definitely falls in the anthemic club-banger vein — which is a fun contrast with Bernie's famously crusty persona. Markham says he wasn't inspired by any particular rappers, at least not style-wise. But he does suggest that Houston rapper Riff Raff, with whom he's recently collaborated, inspired him "to be myself and not be afraid to say anything."
The video hasn't exactly gone viral, but has picked up some attention on Reddit and Facebook. Cyrus says he's pleasantly surprised by the reception so far. He adds that there are more songs and videos to come.
"We're doing one about Donald Trump and maybe Hillary Clinton, too," he says.
Still, it's unlikely either of those will top the infectious hook of the Bernie vid: "Bernie damn Sanders, throw ya damn hands up."