Millennials have a powerful advantage in this year’s election, and everyone, even esteemed players in hip-hop, know that they are the future of our country.
On Election Day Eve (Nov. 7), 1199SEIU and REVOLT TV teamed up to bring rappers from up and down the East coast to Florida Memorial University. They provided the youth with a final round of encouraging words before they hit the polls. With Angie Martinez as the host of the evening, Pusha T, T.I., Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Jay Electronica, Rotimi of “Power” and more hit the stage to push the vote in their own way.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure to be apart of all this,” T.I. said before he spoke to the crowd of students and young people. “For me, voting is extremely important because I know that any problems that I have to complain about begin with putting people in position to address those issues. The way we do that in this natin of ours is voting and electing people into these positions.”
After Roslyn Clark Artis president of Florida Memorial University got her students hype f or the night, T.I. kicked off the event with an extremely moving poem that laid out everything that’s on the line during this election cycle. Afterwards, FloMo staff and activist organizations like The Dream Defenders and the Sierra Club hit the stage to deliver their impacting words to influence the crowd to vote on Election Day.
Following a thorough panel discussion about the issues on the line, motivational speakers like 1199SEIU president George Gersham and Tamika Mallory embellished the fact that social issues as well as we, the people, are on the ballot. While DJ’s like Stevie J held it down on the turntables, special correspondent YesJulz was in the crowd talking to all the young voters.
“It’s a blessing that I have a voice and a platform that I can use to speak to this audience,” Julz told VIBE. “If I ever have the opportunity to use my platform to mobilize us to do something that’ll make a change for our own lives and the children that come after us, then I’m happy to do it.”
T.I., Pusha T, and Gucci Mane spent their time reaching out to the young voters in lieu of a major performance. Meanwhile, artists like 070Shake, Rick Ross, and Rotimi of “Power” allowed fans to take a break from the politics to have fun and memorable time before Election Day. Jay Electronica felt a special connection with the audience as he jumped from the stage to perform in the middle of the crowd.
“This time is a more interesting time because now we’re coming after an 8-year presidency of a black man, which is a milestone in some regards,” Jay told VIBE. “But for the millennials, they look at that and they think ‘man, ain’t nothing changed.’ Matter of fact, things have gotten worse. So it’s important that we reconnect them because they are disconnected. But they have to be reconnected because they have to know its on them to change the circumstances. It’s good to connect them to the process to vote, but this is only one step.”
Check out a few snapshots from the major rally in the gallery and don’t forget to get and vote!