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Hip-Hop Community Comes Together for Change (Editorial)

Jay-Z lends his support for Barack Obama

The voice of hip-hop has sounded loudly over the 2008 Presidential election.
I would like to acknowledge the fact that in no other election has the voice of hip-hop been so loud, proud, and vocal behind one candidate.

Voters young and old, arrived at the polls in record numbers to cast their vote for the candidate that they felt would impact their lives.

New Terrority
Since the hip-hop community has never been so behind a candidate there were some mis-steps along the way. Politics is a different arena and the associations and actions from 25 years ago could come back to affect the candidate in 2008. In some cases, some of the people supporting Barack Obama were not necessarily the type of people who would help his campaign in the eyes of mainstream America.

The key to remember is that the support was geniune from guys like Ludacris, although the delivery may have offended some. Once it was realized that the rules to the game of politics were different, hip-hop adjusted and cleaned up its act when speaking of or about Senator Obama.

I would like to especially salute Young Jeezy for being one of the few artists to change up some of his subject matter lyrically to address the problems and concerns of the people. His performance at the BET Awards, which had a Presidential theme, was among the best of the night.
If the "Snowman" can step it up, I guess the rest of us can too.

Sean "P.Diddy" Combs made his influence felt during the 2008 election

When you have stars like Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, P.Diddy, Young Jeezy actually lending their celebrity to this election, it draws people from all walks of life that normally were not engaged in the political arena.
This made a BIG difference in voter turnout and shows what hip-hop can do.

TI and Rev Yearwood

King of the South T.I. did not become selfish and think that "My Vote doesn't count because I'm a felon"
Instead, he went on a huge campaign for voter registration and used his influence to register voters.
In his own research, he found that he actually WAS able to vote (it differs from state to state) and he cast his vote for the first time.

I would like to thank Rock the Vote for being one of the first organizations to get young people involved in politics years ago.
Puff Daddy is truly a POWERFUL and influential man and his work in 2004 on the Vote or Die campaign laid the groundwork for this historic election. Many wondered if he would maintain that intensity after a disappointing 2004 election.
His usage of the internet to energize voters was genius in motion and will be studied for years to come.

As a media outlet, Indie Planet TV held to our journalistic integrity by not endorsing one candidate over the other. I am proud to say that Hip-Hop was the deciding factor in this election and had the deciding vote in this case and now you can see the impact that the culture of hip-hop

There were a lot of long faces on FOX News, but I thought they did their best to be impartial during the post-election coverage and many anchors actually tipped their hat to Senator Obama and his campaign.

The Impact of This Election
In my work with youth, I'm always amazed at how kids have that 'freedom' to dream to wish to be whatever they want to be. This election has restored the promise that America offers that you can come here and be
whatever you want to be. The dream is available to you if you work hard.

I've seen parents discourage kids from aspiring to be President of the United States, and steer them towards 'safe' dreams. This election makes it now possible.

The most amazing aspect of this election is that Barack Obama transcended color lines and delivered a
message that resonated in hearts and minds of the majority of election. The reality is that in certain pockets of the country, some traditions and feelings will never, ever die - the key is that enough people
made their opinions count through voting to send a message.

The world was watching this election and there were parties and celebrations being held in many lands outside of America's borders.

What's Next

This is just the beginning of a new America. The people who felt 'disconnected' from politics will now start to apply their collective genius to local, city, and state politics. I look to see young aldermen, city council, and many people with strong community influence making runs for mayor etc.

What this also means is that you have to hold yourself accountable because there is one less excuse not to be all you can be in the USA.

President Obama....hmmm....sounds like the start of a whole new era.

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