The rapper K’Naan has threatened to take legal action against the Mitt Romney campaign for using the song “Wavin’ Flag” during his victory speech after the Florida primary this week. The Canadian rapper – who was born in Somalia – said Mr. Romney’s campaign never sought permission to use the song, which was an international hit in 2010 when it was used by Coca-Cola as an official anthem during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
“If I had been asked, I would certainly not have granted it,” K’Naan (pronounced KAY-nahn) said in a statement released on Wednesday. “I would happily grant the Obama campaign use of my song without prejudice.”
The Romney campaign responded that it used the song under a blanket license from American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, which monitors the use of popular music on the radio and in public to ensure royalties are paid to songwriters. “The song was used through our regular blanket license, but we respect K’Naan’s statement and will not use his music again,” Andrea Saul, a campaign spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.
K’Naan joins other songwriters who have complained recently about campaigns using their music to pump up political supporters. Earlier this week, another Republican candidate, Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, was sued by the songwriter Frankie Sullivan for using “Eye of the Tiger” as entrance music during political events.