In early 2008 Sean Combs met a young Barack Obama and the rest is political Hip Hop History. Ten years later we are almost in the same predicament but this time it’s good to see Rappers embracing local politicians who are running in the communities that raised them. We’re used to seeing certain Rappers like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Mysonne, Willie D, and others like them to be vocal about politics but when you have a young popular Rapper like Travis Scott endorsing Rep. Beto O’Rourke in his challenge against Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. I would love to see young artists with as much if not more star power and influence get behind a political candidate or even run for office in their respective communities. Stacey Abrams has a chance to make major history as the first Black Woman to be Governor of any state in this country. Chance the Rapper made it known who he is endorsing for the Mayor of Chicago and the cartoon version of Florida Gubenatorial candidate Andrew Gillum was in Childish Gambino’s video for Have Some Love which received over 4 million views.
Although she has the support of Black Hollywood I haven’t seen or heard of any Rappers from Atlanta endorse her. Last time I checked Atlanta was the Hip Hop capital of the world right now. Atlanta is where Hip Hop resides at this time and you mean to tell me not one Atlanta Rapper is supporting this candidate in the State of Georgia. I’m not sure if you all know this but midterm elections are just as important if not more important than the Presidential Election. These are the people who make the decisions that will affect you and me directly. There is a lot of pressure associated with the word midterm. For college students, midterms are a time of high stress. For pregnant women a midterm ultrasound is when the doctor makes sure the baby is growing and developing properly, also a time of high stress. However, in politics midterms are a time of high stress for the people rather than the politicians.
Rappers have a Republican income with Democratic views but they don’t call themselves Independents or Libertarians. I get it I don’t associate myself with political labels either but I do know what issues I am in support of and what issues I’m not in support of. Young Rappers may want to “shut up and Rap” but again at what cost? There will come a point in time where no political affiliation will hinder your career. Kanye West sent out a bunch of tweets recently about being used by Trump yet he shouldn’t have associated himself with the man in the first place. Endorsing a particular candidate could open the eyes of someone who wasn’t listening to your music in the first place. Young Jeezy’s “My President” rang across the country in 2008 and I’m sure the nice white folks who voted for Barack might’ve heard this more than a few times and they probably became a Jeezy fan that day! Midterms are an important time in our country and other nations are watching us and who we elect reflects on our country. Hip Hop globally can make a bigger statement through political endorsements and it’s up to us to make the right choice and influence others to do the same.
“Why they let the Terminator win the election? Come on, pay attention!” – Jadakiss (Why?)