One thing that sure sets this upcoming presidential election apart from all previous ones in my memory is the unprecedented amount of active input and interest from hip-hop artists and fans alike -- most of whom seem to be endorsing Obama -- with a smaller percentage in support of Hillary. And all seem to share a strong distaste for anything related to Bush's regime and most things Republican.
Of all the mailings (printed, audio, video) I have received in recent weeks from hip-hop artists or organizations, the following email, received today (Super Tuesday) from NY emcee Talib Kweli (see video above of his Amoeba Hollywood instore last August), is the most convincing and articulately presented. Hence I thought I would reprint it here. Note that this is not an endorsement of Barack Obama by this Amoeblogger or by Amoeba Music.
This is what Kweli wrote:
"It is the last year of the Bush administration and thank God. I usually rail against being described as simply "political rapper," and I haven't voted since Bill Clinton first ran for President. I was following the tradition that Black Americans have had of voting for democrats since we got the right in 1964 (temporarily). Then, Clinton, as presidents go, seemed better than Bush Sr., but I did not like his policies in Sudan or the constant bombing of Iraq. I also did not like the way our government dragged us thru the Lewinsky scandal. I felt betrayed by the system, and I stopped voting, no longer accepting of the lesser of two evils.
I knew the two party system was designed to fail us. I knew that politicians must lie for a living, because it would be impossible to make good on their promises. I knew about the lobbyists and the PAC. I did not make it my issue, but if someone asked me, I would explain why I didn't vote. Most of the time people talked to me like I lost my mind, but every once in a while someone understood. I knew that our ancestors fought and died for the right to vote, but I didn't feel like voting for the lesser of two evils in a broken system was the proper way to honor them. It was pageantry, and I wasn't with it. I wasn't with Vote or Die, because I knew that voting itself, with no real knowledge of who is paying these candidates to run million dollar a day campaigns, is far from a revolutionary act.