2 Chainz: Hip-Hop Needs To Stay Involved In The Political Process

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My uncle in my head, 2 Chainz, is not done with his political advocacy. The rapper served as a national spokesperson for the Respect My Vote campaign, an initiative designed to alert ex-felons of their right to vote in select states. Writing for Rolling Stone, 2 Chainz uses the results of last week’s historic presidential election to validate his activism and to warn that he isn’t done yet.

Read an excerpt of the op-ed below:

I had incorrectly, for all of my adult life until 2008, believed the biggest voting myth that exists – that ex-felons cannot vote. I wrote about this in May of this year, when we kicked off Respect My Vote! Learning that I had the right to vote was life-changing.

So I reached out to the Hip Hop Caucus, an organization that I knew worked through the culture and infrastructure of hip-hop to register, educate, and mobilize young voters, including ex-felons. I am so proud that I got to be the spokesperson for their Respect My Vote! campaign and coalition.

Now that we are past the election, my message today to the hip-hop community is that staying involved in the political process after Election Day is just as important as voting.

Many counted us out this election. Many said that the high turnout of young voters and voters of color in 2008 was a one-time thing. We proved them wrong. The vote share of young voters increased in 2012 over 2008, and over 22 million 18-29 year olds voted. We have seen the results thousands of phone calls and doors knocked, rallies, parties and concerts, and online and social media campaigns. In every state that came down to a narrow margin, young people and people of color were the deciding factor.

Hip-hop, we should celebrate. Whether you voted for President Obama or Governor Romney, we demonstrated that we are a political force, and that we cannot be ignored.

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