Thomas Roberts   |  August 19, 2013

First Lady fights childhood obesity with music

First Lady Michelle Obama is out with her most creative effort yet to combat childhood obesity:  a hip hop album, featuring cameos from several big names. Ashanti is one of the singers featured in the album, and she discusses the project with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> first lady says she thinks the country is ready for a female president but don't expect her to be running. when chimed in whether hillary clinton would get the job, she says she hasn't announced anything so i won't get ahead of her. she discussed her campaign about against childhood obesity which is geared to getting kids to quit eating so much and start exercising.

>> it seems hard to know a year ago he launched a campaign called let's move to solve the problem of childhood obesity in this country. when we took this on a lot of people wondering could we make it happen?

>> so michelle obama is not going to be singing on the album but it does feature cameos from several big names including multiplatinum singer and song writer actress ashanti who joins me now. how did you get involved in the album?

>> i got a call from chris lorenzo who i used to work together and we worked together so closely. we got this amazing project and love you to be a part of it. when i heard about the positive things, i was like, yes! i'm at the studio.

>> it's being relieved by partnership for healthy america and the hip-hop public health foundation and basically using hip-hop as a message to get through to kids and get them involved with a healthier lifestyle. did you help write some of the lyrics you're singing?

>> i wrote my verse for "just believe" and along with artie green and a rapper named tommy guns . it was so cool. it's catchy and a positive message and it allows the kids to kind of das and move around, you know? so i thought it was an amazing idea.

>> positive message from a personal perspective? have you ever struggled with issues with weight and how you're perceived publicly? as a singer and actress and performer these go into account. you're gorgeous. highly talented.

>> thank you!

>> but some may think you have it together and you're perfect.

>> you absolutely, as a public figure, quote/unquote, being in the public eye , you always have to worry about do i look okay? are my legs or arms big? do you know what i mean ? you have to consistently be in shape so you don't give people too much to talk about. i think what is most important is being healthy and being happy with yourself from within. you can't please everyone all the time. but it's so important to be healthy.

>> so the album is relieved on september 30th . the just believe song that you wrote and performed.

>> yes.

>> that is on this album.

>> yes.

>> what inspired you about "just believe"? where did you draw the inspiration?

>> i feel it's so important to give our kids a message to believe in yourself and believe you can do big things and to dream big . don't limit yourself. be happy and be fit and healthy. all of the above. i think it's really important to just always encourage our kids and to send that positive message.

>> what else is coming up for you?

>> my album "brave heart" is out later this fall. super excited about that. i just wrapped army wives and we were thinking there may be another season coming up really soon. i'm going to be touring overseas in japan and that is my single, "never should have" is on itunes right now. i shot a movie. it will be out december 2014 . a christmas movie so i'm excited!

>> you are a busy lady!

>> i asked to may do that. i love her. she is great.

>> thank you.

>> great to have you here.

>> thank you.

>> congratulations on being a part of such a great project. it's probably going to give kids a lot of inspiration. it rocks. this is good for kids to utilize and think about their health and eat good foods and sing along .

>> thank you. thank you to dr. williams as well.