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Charlamagne Tha God Tapped As Spokesperson For 2016 'Respect My Vote!' Campaign

The radio personality and host has teamed up with the Hip Hop Caucus for this year's 'Respect My Vote!' campaign. 

The bold and unapologetic Charlamagne Tha God is bringing his voice to young voters as the spokesperson for The Hip Hop Caucus' 'Respect My Vote!' campaign, urging the youth to discover the power of the voting process.

The non-profit group made the official announcement on Tuesday (Mar. 22) for their third rollout of the campaign. "Respect My Vote!" helps to empower the hip-hop community in realizing strength behind numbers through educational services and non-partisan voter registration. The radio personality is known for his role on the nationally syndicated Power 105 The Breakfast Club and host of MTV2's Uncommon Sense. 

In a statement via email to Vibe, the personality explains the importance of this year's presidential race and the power of voter mobilization.

“The soul of the country is at stake in this election. All that is going on socially, economically, and environmentally right now is very serious for communities of color. Respect My Vote! is the inspiration that disenfranchised communities can look to for how and why their vote is crucial to make needed change,” said Charlamagne Tha God. “I’m honored to be a spokesperson for the 2016 Respect My Vote! campaign, and to be a part of a movement where the community of Hip Hop can come together to promote empowerment through political participation.  Furthermore, I am an ex-offender and without initiatives such as Respect My Vote! I and many other people would be unaware of our ability to vote and the steps we need to take.”

Respect My Vote! is a national campaign that has featured many celebrities and community leaders who have encouraged voter registration in the hip-hop community. Past spokespeople include T.I, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross and Elle Varner. Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO, Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. hopes to show young potential voters the power of their voices through local elections as well as the general elections.

"'Respect My Vote!' is about how voting is personal and the decisions that elected officials make are personal to us. Justice and opportunity are too often denied to our communities,” Rev Yearwood, Jr. said. “That’s why it’s important to get celebrities and influencers such as Charlamagne Tha God involved in the campaign to convey the seriousness and importance of voting as a tool for change. We want to make lifetime voters out of this generation and encourage them to be active in advocacy on the issues that matter to them and their futures.”

Pledges and volunteer drives are located on their website. The campaign will run all the way until the general election while setting up voter registration drives this summer in Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado, Nevada and North Carolina.

While voter turnout has hit a dangerous low in all ages, in 2014 youth voter turnout fell to 19.9 percent of 18- to 29-year-old citizens who voted last fall. The average rested at 26.6 percent in the same age over the previous 40 years.

It's no secret that the much-coveted youth vote is important for politicians and citizens. The idea of a young voter encourages the notion they will continue the process when they are older. What is often missed is the importance of local and primary races that also paint the political makeup of the country.

Check out Charlamagne's thoughts on local elections and the 'Respect My Vote!' campaign below.

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Billionaire Robert F. Smith Will Also Cover Parents’ Loans In Morehouse College-Debt Plan

In May 2019, Morehouse College’s graduating class of 2019 not only received the gift of their degrees, but also a unique opportunity to enter society debt-free. During his commencement speech, billionaire and owner of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith announced his pledge to cover each student’s loans, and now their parents will be able to get in on the life-changing gesture.

According to Bloomberg, Smith will pay off the federal loans taken by the students’ parents, adding to a $34 million tab. Private student loans gifted by the college, and federal and state loans will be covered under Smith’s plan.

Morehouse's president, David Thomas, said this action will hopefully inspire the recipients to follow in Smith's footsteps. “It is our hope that our graduates will use their newfound financial freedom to pursue their career goals, to lead and serve the community, and to remember the spirit of the gift given to them by paying it forward to support the education of future classes of Morehouse Men.” The HBCU aims for the plan of action to be completed by 2020.

For Smith, with a reported net worth of $6 billion, his vision through this program aims to inspire other colleges and universities to take a charge against this country's student debt crisis and “to receive gifts from alumni and other supporters that can offset the burden of student loans and give students the freedom to pursue their dreams, the capital to invest in the economic growth of their families and the time that they can give back meaningfully to strengthening their communities.”

According to Forbes, U.S. federal student loan debt has totaled over $1.5 trillion.

Wow! Billionaire Robert F. Smith surprises Morehouse graduates by announcing his family will eliminate the student debt of the entire class of 2019 with a grant. #PayItForward #HBCU pic.twitter.com/lbZmttSsB6

— Tomthunkit™ (@TomthunkitsMind) June 10, 2019

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DMX Reportedly Signs New Deal With Def Jam

DMX has signed a new deal with Def Jam Records, bringing him back to the label that distributed his early albums and classic singles. According to AllHip-Hop, X re-linked with the record label over the summer and is set to drop a Christmas album, DMX-Mas, either later this year, or in 2020.

X dropped his quadruple platinum debut album, It’s Dark And Hell is Hot, via Def Jam/Ruff Ryders Records in 1998. He went on to release four more album under the label including, his triple platinum sophomore LP, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, followed by ..And Then There Was X, the latter of which became his most successful studio album selling five million copies in the U.S. alone.

X, whose birth name is Earl Simmons, is one of hip-hop’s best-selling artist with just over 17 million records sold, but like many other recording artist, the beloved MC hit more than a few bumps over the years. The 48-year-old Yonkers native has endured money struggles and a very public battle with sobriety that played a part in his returns trips to jail. He was most recently released from custody this past January, after serving a year in prison for tax evasion.

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J. Cole Says He Won't Be Doing Anymore Guest Features

Don’t expect to hear a J. Cole guest verse on songs for other artists. Cole recently blessed tracks like Young Thug’s “The London” and 21 Savages “A Lot,” but the North Carolina born rhymer says that he’s done making guest appearances after the release of his biggest feature yet: Gang Starr’s “Family and Loyalty.”

Naturally, the “Middle Child” rhymer was honored and elated to be featured on the track, and working with DJ Premier might be the perfect way to bow out of the features game. “This is the last feature you’ll hear from me,” Cole tweeted Friday (Sept. 20). “Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run.”

This a honor to be on this song. NEW Gang Starr 🤯🤯🤯🤯 💎💎💎💎

This is the last feature you’ll hear from me. Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run. 🙏🏿@REALDJPREMIER This song a classic, thank you. RIP GURUhttps://t.co/MMBI5Z2Fcq

— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 20, 2019

“Family and Loyalty,” marks the first new single from Gang Starr in 16 years, and reacquaints us with the lyrical genius of Guru, who died from cancer in 2010.

As for Cole, the Grammy-nominated rapper has a lot on his plate between his solo career and the Dreamville Records imprint. The label boasts a star-studded roster that includes Bas, Cozz, Omen, EarthGang, and the incomparable Ari Lennox. The collective released their third compilation album, Revenge of the Dreamers III, earlier this year.

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