Nicki Minaj rapped about Mitt Romney. Shyne recently slammed President Obama. Killer Mike called out Obama on his latest CD. So has hip hop abandoned Obama?
In 2008, many people believed one of the main reasons Barack Obama prevailed was because the hip hop community put their full weight—money, endorsement, promoting the vote and the man (such as P. Diddy’s “Vote or Die” campaign) — behind the then-presidential candidate. There is even a school of thought that theorizes that young white voters, especially college kids, backed Obama because they are of the hip-hop generation. That they were more comfortable with the thought of a black president because through hip hop they have embraced black culture. At the time, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, president and CEO of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, said, “The early results of the presidential election verifies that the hip-hop generation is a responsible and caring generation. Hip-hop artists and icons, male and female, all worked hard to make sure the issues and the interests of young people were represented. President Elect Obama now has a serious mandate from the hip-hop generation. Hip-hop transcends race and will continue to be a force for change, not only in America, but also throughout the world.”
This time around, hip hop is once again coming to Obama’s aide. On October 27 in Teaneck, NJ, Lenny “The Barber” Hansen closes out the 2012 presidential election with the “Respect My Vote/Fright Night Concert.” Hip hop stars Machine Gun Kelly, Meek Mill, legend Ice T, Funk Master Flex, DJ Wallah and others will make the “Respect My Vote / Fright Night Concert.”
For the event, Lenny the Barber and his Carefree Nation team partnered with 2 Chainz and the Hip Hop Caucus, to bring together some of the biggest names in hip hop and American politics all in an effort to get young people to exercise their vote.
Other rappers are pulling for Obama with independent acts of support. Even though the President once called Kanye a “jackass,”the rapper has been hitting the streets to encourage people to vote for Obama even it has been reported missing girlfriend Kims birthday in lieu of campaigning for Obama. Jay Z and Beyonce recently hosted a mega bucks, star-studded fundraiser for Obama. BET also recently followed hip hop veterans like Treach, Snoop Lion, RZA, DJ Kay Gee, and Ice Cube speak on personal experiences showing their support for President Obama.
Still, the passion and drive doesn’t seem to be there as it was in 2008. Maybe because it’s a re-election? What do you think?