Hip-hop speaks up

By Chris Jones
September 30, 2004

Ryan Norris

Hip-hop’s slogan “Vote or Die” has taken America’s youth to a while new level. Gearing the campaign toward youth, voting seems to be the number one focus of rap stars. With continuous ads and appearances, it seems that voters 18 – 24 will play a major impact on who wins this years presidential election. With appearances at hip-hop summits, and other functions, artists like P. Diddy, Wyclef Jean and Eminem stress the fact of how important it is to vote.

For once, hip-hop can be blamed for something good. It’s not the “devil’s music” or “gangsta,” but it’s a voice. It’s a sound that reaches millions of people, tops the music charts and plays an influential role in America’s future.

What better way of hearing that you need to vote, than from your future artist. Not only are they encouraging and telling people they need to vote, but they are making sure our generation can vote.

Hip-hop station Hot 97 sent interns out all over N.Y.C. registering people who needed to be. After going out for about a month strait the result was at least 200 people were registered each day. Having that ability to vote should be taken advantage of.

Showing up at the Democratic convention and other political events displays a tremendous growth in the hip-hop community. We are doing better things and are more aware of the world we live in. The state of hip-hop has become more global and politically conscious by educating listeners and explaining the need to vote.

Not saying that recognition needs to be shown, but if something positive is going on, the media and other political figures should commend it. I usually see all the negative mishaps of hip-hop on the news or in the papers but never anything good. Hip-hop has a voice and positive messages are sent through lyrics as well.

Predicting the amount of voter participations this year, I think the youth’s statistics will only increase. If this is true, I feel hip-hop should become a lot more involved in our countries future. After all, you relate to what they like and the common characteristics they share.

I know for a fact that hip-hop has made me want to express my voting exercise. Seeing artists on MTV and BET made me want to be involved. I pay more attention to the news, the political standpoints of each candidate and even the commercial ads they have slandering one another. All of that is helping me make my decision, and I blame it all on hip-hops.

Thank you hip-hop for being my voice. Thank you for becoming my inspiration. Thank you for being involved in politics. Thank you for wanting to change my life. “Vote or Die” youth!

Posted to the web by Ryan Norris

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Chris Jones

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