Jay-Z_President Obama

Beats, Ballots, and Booty Calls: Why Should We Vote?

“A 40 and a blunt/ that’s all she really wants…” – “Slow Down” – Brand Nubian

From the moment Mitchell O. Barry scoped Jameka Jumpoff strollin’ down the baby food aisle of Wal-Mart, she didn’t stand a chance. Over a value meal at Micky Dee’s he seduced her with his sweet talk about how he was gonna make life better for her and her kids. After taking her home on the city bus, he charmed his way into her bedroom, telling her everything that she had ever wanted to hear, as “We Shall Overcome” played softly on his iPad. When she woke up the next morning, Mitch and his promises were gone. The only reminder of the wonderful night that they spent together was the “I Just Voted” sticker stuck to her headboard….

As we head full steam into a heated political season, most ethics and special interest groups are getting their lists of demands ready to put in front of candidates who are, aggressively, courting their votes. However for the Black community, there is no courtship. Just a sip of a cheap malt liquor, a one night stand, and a promise that “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

For politicians, less affluent African Americans are a cheap date or the political equivalent of a late night booty call. We, enthusiastically, give up the goods with no strings attached.

Although, you are allowed to diss the Democratic and the Republican candidates unmercifully, there is an unwritten law in this country that says that under no circumstances are you ever, ever allowed to pose the simple question…

“Why should I vote for either one of you losers?”

I don’t know about you, but nothing ticks me off more than some old Civil Rights-type person lecturing me about how “my ancestors died for my right to vote.”

I’m like, “Back up off me homie, you don’t know me like that, and I haven’t seen you at one family reunion!” My kin folks didn’t die for the right to vote. They died trying to get free by any means necessary.

This year, some Black leaders have a new slogan, “Vote… because Trayvon Martin would have wanted it that way…” How many of these opportunists who are using Trayvon Martin as a political pawn when he’s dead would have even given him (or his peers) the time of day when he when he was alive? How many Black commentators who have sampled the infamous 911 call for a “get out to vote” remix use their air time to politically educate the boys in the hoodies?

What most political crusaders will never admit is there is a disconnect between them and the Hip-Hop Nation.

Hip-Hop has long addressed the contradictions surrounding America’s politics. Back in the ’90s, Chuck D said, “Neither party is mine/ not the jackass nor the elephant” on “By the Time I Get to Arizona”. Also, on “Ah Yeah,” KRS-One scolded, “Remember the chains/ remember the whips/ remember the rope man/ You Black people still talkin’ ’bout votin’…” More recently, Lupe Fiasco gave a strong critique of the current administration when on “Words I Never Said,” he rapped “That’s why I ain’t vote for him/next one neither…”

That’s not to say that some in Hip-Hop (mostly the filthy rich) have not been political pimps over the years. During recent elections, there have been various campaigns where politicians have used millionaire rappers to convince Lil Tyrone that if he didn’t go to the polls, a gang of gold-toothed goons was gonna show up at his front door and give him a beat-down for neglecting his civic responsibility.

However, it ain’t gonna be that simple this year, as the suckers who bought into the whole “Vote or Die” hype back in 2004 are the same people who, in 2012, believe the Mayan Calender prediction that the world is going to end before the next inauguration, anyway. So why bother?

Although, the alternative sexual lifestyle has been a hot topic in Hip-Hop for years, any discussion of alternative political lifestyles has been taboo.

With all of the resources that Hip-Hoppers possess, why has there never been a serious effort to form a Hip-Hop Third Party, or at least consider the strategy of being independent of a particular party affiliation?

Although, there have been various people referred to as “Hip-Hop candidates,” over the years, they have been mostly politicians with a little store-bought swagger who knew how to kick a Run-DMC lyric. A rare exception being longtime Hip-Hop activist, Rosa Clemente, who was the Green Party vice presidential candidate in 2008.

Even the current Prez has to realize that listening to Lil Weezy on his iPod, or givin’ the Snowman (Young Jeezy) a shout out, doesn’t make you down with the streets.

Contrary to popular belief, some of us actually read. We have studied the works of economic thinkers such as Dr. Claude Anderson (Powernomics) and Dr. Amos Wilson (Blue Print for Black Power). A few of us have read Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power and know that America is not really a Democracy, but what John Perkins in “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” called a “Corporatocracy.” And while we brace for Armageddon every four years, the corporations that run the planet have already factored the upcoming elections into their 25-year agendas for global domination.

The Hip-Hop Nation must also realize that “civic responsibility” does not begin and end at the ballot box. It’s pretty easy for your favorite celebrity to motivate your crew to go out and vote once ever four years, but can you get your peeps to go to city council and school board meetings on a regular basis? As they say, “All politics is local,” and the ‘hood needs fewer drives for voter registration and more classes for political education.

In 1964, Malcolm X predicted it was gonna be “the ballot or the bullet.” This year, we have to decide whether it’s gonna be “the ballot or the booty call?”

Are we going to have real change, or are we still going to be neglected and disrespected by the major political parties?

As Ice Cube said in the classic flick, Boyz In the Hood, how long are we gonna rep’ for people who “either don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care what’s goin’ on in the ‘hood.”

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott’s weekly column is “This Ain’t Hip Hop”, a column for intelligent Hip-Hop headz. He can be reached at info@nowarningshotsfired.com, on his website, www.NoWarningShotsFired.com, or on Twitter (@truthminista).

  • Anton Kwatakye Kwame

    Glad you touched on the local aspect…

    Its important to see the potential of and to initiate local political operations in our communities.  We need to sit down and develop OUR OWN 25 year plans to manifest the 3 Selves: Self Reliance, Self Sufficiency, and Self Determination.

    An immediate product and process we can begin thinking about are a series of localized Community Policy Agendas that identify and define our most pressing challenges/problems as well as articulate the great opportunities/solutions that are attainable.  Frameworks need to be established to guide these processes.  Such work actualized on a local level and coordinated between communities will lay the ground work for regional and possibly a national Black Nationalist Party that can begin to speak directly to OUR story in Amerikkka AND, most importantly, provide the type or coordinated capability and response to act in the INTERESTS of ALL poor and disenfranchised people in this nation.

    But the bottom line is NOTHING happens and NOTHING changes without a SCOPE: Study, 
    Communication, Organization, Planning, and Execution.  Nothing but work in front of us, so lets make it happen.

    Free the Land.

    • Tuesday27

      This Minista Truth whatever ought to be ashamed of himself discouraging the vote in the most important national election ever. Minista Truth (truth challenged) really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Just wait and see when “They” win both houses of congress and the white house. Then we’ll see what Minista Truth has to say about what follows. Right, Minista??????? Dumb f*cker……..

      • immackulate

        dumb azz the election is a wash… just like they gave bush his 2nd term … did your vote matter then dummy? THEY ABOUT TO GIVE “BO” lol HIS 2ND TERM TOO

  • ALLHIPANDHOP

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    IF Y’ALL GOT PROBLEMS WITH YOUR CRE DIT REPORTS AND YOUR HISTORY IS SHAATTY, GET RID OF DAT MothaFUCKARR TODAY!!!!!! RING THESE PROFFESIONALS AT EIGHT SEVEN7 – 864- 1527.  THEY DID SOME INCREDIBLE WORK FOR ME.  AND THEY ARE CHEAAPPP AS FAAACKKKKK.

    THEY GOT MY HOMIE REALLY GOOD AND CLEAN TOO AND HE WAS STRUGGLIN A WHOLE LOT WORSE THAN ME.  HE IS GETTIN A HOUSE THIS MONTH AND IS REAL HAPPY WITH RESULTS!

    HIT EM UP – THEY WILL HELP YOU OUT!

  • immackulate

    i voted the 1st and last time for OBAMA 4 yrs ago needless to say … IM NEVER VOTING again
    TRUTH BE TOLD i only voted cuz he was black and that was my AH HA moment to The Man.
    even though i knew deep down that OBAMA wasnt changing shyt in the grand scheme of things however it still felt good to sing along with Jeezy chorus MY PREZ IS BLACK!

    but GAY MARRIAGE … c’mon myG you gotta be phucking kidding ME!!!

    BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT!!!

    • Tuesday27

      Damn. What is the difference between Biden and Obama????? Biden is his vice president, they have the exact agenda. Oh yeah, Biden is white. Better for us blacks. Because as we all know black can’t do anything right. We need a white man to help us.

      You young niccas got some attitude. We fuc*ed!!!!!!!!!!!! Dumb, poor forever, niccas……
      Who are harder on this black president than they were on Clinton.

      • immackulate

        look at this dumb ass dude … you must have not seen where i said i only voted once in my life and that was for OBAMA simply becuz he was black … get your head outta your azzhole clown

    • Tuesday27

      See what this dumb a** author of the article started. Biden said he was for gay marriage 1st. They are exactly the same politician. But of course the white man has a better grasp on what black people need. Damn, we f*cked!!!!!!!! So ignorant, you and the author of this garbage piece. How old is the Minista???? Reads like he’s about 13 yrs old.
      Niccas show everyday why no one takes us seriously. Biden instead of Obama??? Dumb f*cker……..

      • immackulate

        wow my dude … the BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT got you off yo square …
        what if i said YO MAMA FOR PRESIDENT would that be better for you
        i bet you think CHANGE IS COMING HUH – actually you are the dumb phuck
        for thinking OBAMA could change a country headed down hill for decades over 2 4 yr terms … i hope your this active when it comes to raising your kids, phucking your girlfriend, getting an education, and going to church

        i live in this world but not of this world …i could give 2 shyts if DICK GREGORY was president … im out for spiritual atonement cuz POLITICS is for DUMMIES.

      • immackulate

        you definitely are a HOUSE NIGGAH better yet a WHITE HOUSE NIGGAH
        i only follow one person THE CREATOR – so keep voting for these crooked ass politicians cuz your vote REALLY does matter – you dumb phuck lol

        i bet you think Martin Luther King was assassinated because of the civil rights movement … and jesse jackson is a law abiden citizen too huh … better yet LINCOLN cared about you and your ancestors, right?

        man phuck off … OBAMA aint shyt but another niggah with the white man’s hand up his azz … and him jumping from post to post on supporting gay marriage isnt clear to you that he only wants your vote then you as dumb as yo mama is for having you

      • Tuesday27

        You sound like a prince of a man. I’m glad you are too smart to play politics or vote. You want Biden, but don’t want BO. Wow. Why didn’t I think of that. You know, white is right and black is wrong. And yeah, my mom was dumb for having me, and BO is another ni**er. Wow. You are a bright bulb, you are.

  • TruthHurtsDontIt

    Very good article and it’s something i bring up constantly to anyone looking interested enough for me to bless them with another sentence.

    Everything is different when elections are near regarding the attitudes of politicians.

    The blind and the ignorant in our community that vote just simply show up to polls and pick everyone on a ballot wit a (D) next to their name w/o even knowing the candidates.

    While nothing about Romney makes me want him to be president,, having Obama prove over the course of 3 years and change that he’s as much of an elitist/narcissist as the people with an elephant on they pins only further has made me disgusted with politics.

    The poor are getting poorer but let this administration tell it and you’ll hear a story of how low the unemployment number has fallen,, but it’s only fallen because of the hundreds of thousands of people dropped from the list each month for no longer receiving unemployment benefits or stopped looking for work all together.

    In a nation where the candidates will raise and spend over $2 billion collectively just to run ads on why you shouldn’t vote for the other one,,,,do you honestly ever expect these people to care about the people at the bottom of the financial food chain and be corruption-free??

    Ain’t happening…..

    • Tuesday27

      Let me school you again, Luke. If you’re attempting to equate the republicans and democrats, or worse Romney and Obama, you are either a liar or delusional. In case you forgot, like half of short term memory white america, you were a half inch away from selling apples on the corner. We were on the verge of a major depression, forget this recession stuff. Nobody would have a job. We were losing about 700-800,000 jobs a month when BO took office. Now the economy is on a pretty good rebound, and short term memory white people like you are (I can’t believe you’re black) complaining there isn’t a chicken in every pot. Yeah, BO went to harvard. That makes him elitist? Wasn’t he scorned by your type for being a community organizer? What other president was more “common man” than BO? Go ahead, I’ll wait.

      Any of you poor a** niccas think you’re ever gonna have a president more in tune with your interest than BO, you’re sadly mistaken. And if Romney and the republicans win the house and senate, all you poor a** niccas are really gonna feel it. And it will serve you right. MF’s don’t get up and vote but want someone to deliver your food stamps personally just because he’s black. Vote nicca!!!!!!!!! And not republican.

      For all my life we’ve been wondering, as black people, when our ship is going to come in. Well, here he is now, the Queen Mary of black politicians. And as usual, we gonna F it up. Suckers, who ever won’t vote for BO.

      • TruthHurtsDontIt

        You sound foolish and jaded as you argue b/s points wit anyone not on Team Obama just like so many other people like yaself who are actually worse than the blind sheep because you actually are under the assumption you know wtf ya talking bout.

        It’s the same argument every time when dealing wit someone like you: you assume that anyone questioning YOUR messiah must be some White right wing republican and blah blah blah,, it be feeling like i’m reading copy-n-paste responses sometimes.

        I’m as Black as the president just to fill you in on that for $hits and giggles.

        Now to the numbers,, of course the job loss number will fall when so many huge businesses have already failed and no longer exist to fire people.

        You know that as well as i do, it’s simple math and logic but that never allows Obama arguers to stop from typing some b/s in an attempt to fool someone else possibly.

        Everyone complained about how Bush rode the economy into the ground by putting us $4-5 trillion in debt,,, but now that we’re in the $15-20 trillion range in just 3 years under Obama it becomes convenient to not dwell on those numbers i’m sure.

        Obama’s plans haven’t worked. He’s the cheap mechanic you see for a medium importance issue involving ya vehicle,, he does a good enough job to possibly keep you on the road for the weekend,, but then you find out his idea of a cheap fix has caused a severe issue that you may not ever be able to afford to correct.

        That’s economics in America under the socialist regime currently in Washington.

      • Negro Peligro

        I mean Obama did do a goUOod job. No one is calling him the Messiah. But he reached out to protect consumers from business. He had to negotiate because that’s the world we live in because people like you sit around and say oh everything is rigged so these corporations running around running the country.  

        Your rebutal of the numbers is plain shortsighted and facutally inaccurate. We are hiring because businesses got to reset their inventories not because they all failed. Bush Debt was 4 – 5 trillion when he got into office. Bush Ran up the debt 4 to 5 trillion while he was in office. That was without a real stimulus program that went through consumers and got people back to work. That’s not koolaid that’s fact. Ask Warren Buffet because he owned Home Depot, Lowes, Financing companies all of which without Obama would’ve crashed. 

        Obama’s plans have worked. Just saying they haven’t doesn’t make you right. Add some facts to what you saying.  Obamas plans brought us out of the recession by basically clearing inventory. The added debt brought the lending down and more jobs from overseas because our dollar value was devalued much like CHINA does it. Is the economy repaired. NO. Because the accountant schemes of the corporation has sucked all of the buying power out of the American consumer and although jobs are going elsewhere they are not consumers like we are. So until we get our act together and protect the consumers this is going to be a problem from years to come.

      • Tuesday27

        Smart man Willie. Fox News made LukesCorner dumb. Right down to calling this centrist president a socialist. Just like Fox told him. He’s clueless.

      • Tuesday27

        Just like a republican. Word for word on Fox News. Let me let you in on a little secret Skippy. Most of that debt came from the stimulus package that absolutely had to be passed, or you and your republican friends would still be selling fruit on the highway. Bush endorsed the stimulus package, because he had to.
        Let me tell you, since you don’t know, how we got to this place and time. Since Reagan, the country has been on a very lax regulatory system. None more than the SEC law and other banking regulations. So, Wall St. was allowed to gamble and double dip by hedging bets on financial products. This hasn’t been allowed since 1907. Until your republican cronies allowed Wall St to write it’s own ticket. Now, BO had no choice but to allow the Wall Streeters to help with the recovery, since not doing so will crash the economy.
        It’s blacks like you that are the reason no one takes us seriously. You are the crab in that barrel. Do you really think the republicans or other democrat has a better handle on the economy than BO. I’d like to see how you’ll fare under a republican congress and Romeny presidency. Tell me you’ll do better than under BO.

        Crabby in the barrel.

  • Negro Peligro

    I got a song featuring Obama and Mitt Romney on the same side of an issue which corporations running the elections.  First you got Private Prisons making laws to lock up illegal immigrants to keep people in prison longer so they can make more money off the government. Then you have CHURCHS CHURCHS PUSHING LEGISLATION ON HEALTHCARE SO THAT THEY CAN KEEP RAISING THE COST AND MAKING MORE MONEY. Its time we stop bitching and waiting on some other niggas to march for us. Time to vote. Obama has done a decent job but he needs to improve on it.  

    • Tuesday27

      Someone smart wrote this. BO is fighting to get the money out of campaigns. He will get a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United supreme decision that allowed unlimited corporate money in his 2nd term. That’s if we get off our a**es and vote like we did in 08. I’m sure you know that BO is against all this privatization. That’s another republican idea that is meant to lock us out of economic opportunity. Also, these fools probably don’t like the health care act either, since Fox News tells them it’s bad. But with health care comprising 1/6 of out economy, it will surely help.
      But people like Lukes Corner doesn’t need health care, I bet. Fox News told him so.

  • dominicancoke

    my comment was deleted i will clean it up

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  • The idea of voting for the sake of voting is backwards. If people are civically engaged, they’ll vote because their vote actually means something to them. When people aren’t involved, they have no reason to go vote, and if they show up just because “they’re supposed to”, they’ll basically just be voting at random.

    Also, vote for a candidate based on his policies. It doesn’t matter if you think one guy is “someone you’d like to have a beer with”. That’s never going to happen. It doesn’t matter what Obama thinks about gay marriage, what matters is what has he actually done for gay rights?

  • DesignatedH8R

    You can vote for the 1% percenter that’s anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage. Will probably start a couple of wars. Or the man that put an end to two wars, sacrificed all his political capital for universal health care. The man who’s also for women’s rights and for gay marriage. Or if you believe that Jay-Z is the Illumminati and/or the government is run by aliens from the planet Nebaru, vote for Ron Paul.

    • immackulate

      im anti-gay marriage as OBAMA was before he got elected … now since he aint make good on his promises he has to find another way back in … this time’s its thru the gay communities back door

      • DesignatedH8R

        Are you that much of a populist that you’ll vote for Romney on a moral issue like gay marriage? Look to how Obama voted on Gay-marriage related issues as a senator. There’s certain things you just can’t come out and say at certain times if you want to win the Presidency.

  • rep87

     President Obama point blank no need to discuss !

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