Several rappers have been in the news for their political endorsements and campaign to encourage people to vote in the 2020 election. Back in April, Sean Diddy Combs tweeted that quote “The Black vote will not be free this year.” A Black Enterprise article quoted Diddy as saying, “We’re gonna have to see some promises. We’re gonna have to understand what kind of deal we’re getting out of — what are we getting in return for our vote? Nothing has changed in America for Black America.”
Since then, according to PRNewswire, Combs and Revolt TV has relaunched Sean “Diddy” Combs’ VOTE or DIE! initiative, to “rally the next generation of leaders to exercise their right to vote in this critical election.”
Last month REVOLT TV hosted a State of Emergency: Election Day and Black America town hall, moderated by television host, Eboni K. Williams, to discuss current issues in the Black community ahead of the general election. Guests included Kerry Washington, Vic Mensa, Dr. Cornell West, Jeff Johnson, Kimberly Jones, and more. In addition to the town hall, REVOLT Black News provided a recap of the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates and has conducted interviews with politicians, political commentators and notable voices in the Black community. To learn more about Revolt’s Vote or Die campaign visit www.revolt.tv/.
Ice Cube recently sat down with the Trump administration to discuss, according to The Daily News, “…his efforts to help the Black community.” Ice Cube said that he asked both the Trump administration and the Biden campaign for a meeting, but chose to meet with Trump advisor Jared Kushner after the Biden camp said they would meet after the election. According to the article, Ice Cube’s meeting with the Trump administration influenced a so called plan to invest $500 billion in the Black community.
Ice Cube stated, “I’m willing to meet with anybody who could bring this to life and make it a reality.” He also went on to say that, “My daddy taught me a long time ago no matter who’s the president, you gotta get up and go to work in the morning.”
Rapper 50 cent is facing backlash for endorsing Trump. Last week 50 tweeted to his followers that they should vote for Trump. The irritable rapper who often argues on social media stated that he doesn’t care if Trump doesn’t like black people because he doesn’t want to pay more taxes under Biden’s proposed tax plan.
Mario Van Peebles, director of movies such as New Jack City and All Things Fall Apart (a movie 50 cent was in). Mario weighed in on his Instagram this past week stated regarding “Good brothers and sisters can get lost and blinded by the money God…when you inherent the values of the people that would buy and sell you and your people what have you become?…I think that racism is right next door to sexism which is around the corner from classism and the eventual destruction of mother nature herself…” Mario says that everyone can “evolve and grow” , he goes on to state that 50 is confusing “money with freedom.” He also calls 50 cent a low conscious rapper. Mario Van Peebles is the son of legendary filmmaker, playwright, actor, and composer, Melvin Van Peebles.
Ironically, 50 Cent has since retracted his support for Trump after being highly criticized by the hip hop community and folks across social media.
According to Genius.com hip hop artists such as Snoop Dogg and Tyler, The Creator are planning to vote for the first time in the 2020 election. Snoop Dogg has been urging his fans to vote through a series of video ads featuring his hit song “Drop it like it’s hot” playing in the background on his Instagram that include information on the voting website IWillVote.com.
While I don’t think that anyone, including the Black community necessarily sees some of the rappers as leaders, leaders of the Black community — these people have large followings, millions of followers on their platforms from all backgrounds, all genders, ethnicities, and political affiliations. So they are promoting this election and some people will listen to them.
I think voting is personal, it’s an individual decision. I am a hip hop generation writer and educator, but I believe that no one can tell you what to do with your vote. You have to discover the issues, the policies, and what’s at stake and decide what you can be at peace with, if you vote. I’m not going to bash any of these artists, enough people are doing that. They are doing what they feel is their civic engagement, and whether it’s influenced by money or not or influenced by what they think is best for marginalized communities — Black and brown people, they have a platform that they’re using to get people to vote. In the end you must decide for yourself.
What are your thoughts about rappers/producers/actors, Diddy, 50 Cent, Snoop Dog, and Ice Cube being outspoken about how you should vote? Tweet me @duewafrazier1 or comment below!