DJ Obama

Wheels of Change: DJs for Obama Rep a New Brand of Hip-Hop Hope

Those in the music industry have a responsibility outside of the stage and off the radio. While DJs are an instrumental piece to artists and fans alike, they owe it to Hip-Hop to speak out on voting. If they can move thousands with a particular song, they must do the same with their vote. They have no other choice. If not, a disservice will be done if well known names don’t make their voices heard.

This past August 14, DJ Cassidy, DJ Rashida, and D-Nice joined Obama for America in launching “DJs for Obama”. They recently held a call with DJs across the country committed to re-electing President Obama. Court Digga was instrumental in getting the DJs aware of the conference call. He was asked  by Valeisha Butterfield-Jones and Michael Blake, who both work for President Obama, to ensure that as many DJs as possible were reached. With powerful forces like these coming together, music and politics have the potential to change things. As election day nears, they are doing all they can to reach as many as they can.

A few of the DJs for Obama shared their thoughts and plans with AlHipHop.com before the pivotal election takes place less than two weeks from now:

DJ SCRAP DIRTY (CHICAGO/JXN & WRBJ/Violator Radio syndicated/Founder of Violator Management/Violator Allstar DJs)

What do you feel is music’s role in politics?

Well, I think we play a big part in politics as a whole. We are the original honchos of the grassroots campaign. Music tells the story and hits the people directly instead of the “paid” talking heads spreading their agenda to the masses.

What are you doing in your city and among your fans to spark voters for Obama?

Well, me personally, I have my own roundtable discussions amongst the power players
in this city (Jackson). Sometimes it’s each one teach one, aka taking it back to the grassroots game plan.

What would you tell the Hip-Hop and urban community about the importance of this election?

Use your head and turn off that matrix box aka the T.V!

What did you walk away with after the call?

We all play a major role in this election as we did four years ago. We need to use our big (Barry White) voice to get OUR people to the poll.

DJ IRIE (99 Jamz WEDR-FM)

What are you doing in your city and among your fans to spark voters for Obama?

I feel my duty is to educate and promote voter registration. 1st and foremost I want people to register and get out to vote! No matter what your party affiliation the more people that vote the better the system works period. In terms of the Obama campaign there’s just so much misinformation out there that I try to make sure my fans have access to the TRUTH! I don’t want people to go out and vote for Obama just because I support the campaign. I want people to go vote for him because they’ve educated themselves on the issues that matter most to them and from that information they come to their own conclusion that Obama is their candidate.

What do you feel is music’s role in politics?

I feel music should play the same role as any other media such as television, print, online, etc. If you’re a musician and you want to get your political message out then music is your medium to be able to do that. i.e. Will.I.Am’s “Yes We Can.”

What would you tell the Hip – Hop and urban community about the importance of this election?

I would tell them not to get blinded by the blatant lies & rhetoric the other campaign is pushing out there. This election matters not only to you but to generations of your family to come, healthcare, education, the environment, taxes, women’s rights, foreign policy, the national debt, you name it. Both sides have very different views on these issues and you need to know where you stand! You as an individual have access to the TRUTH right from the Obama 2012 campaign itself. Log on to vote.barackobama.com for early voting information and barackobama.com for a clear position of the administrations accomplishments over the past 4 years, and what’s to come.

What did you walk away with after the call?

The TRUTH! Really the call was very important because we got to hear right from Jim Messina, Obama Campaign Manager, on what messages were most important for us to share with our fans. The importance of getting people registered to vote, and best thing of all is that as a DJ I felt really empowered. Here we have a presidential campaign putting time, effort, and resources into DJs as they finally recognize the reach and power of the DJ.

These DJs are stepping up because they know so much is riding on this election, every vote and every person counts toward President Obama’s ability to continue to evoke change. But the change starts with each one of us. 

DJ SNS, CIROC BOY DJ/Producer

What do you feel is music’s role in politics?

Music in politics is very strong. The word can be taught through good music, and even in negative music there is a voice as well. When we are in these clubs, it’s like a rally to make people pay attention to the cause.

What are you doing in your city and among your fans to spark voters for Obama?

When I DJ, I stop the music and encourage the people on how important November 6 is, and please get there and vote.

What would you tell the Hip-Hop and urban community about the importance of this election?

It’s far greater now than four years ago, trust me!!

What did you walk away with after the call?

The call definitely enlightened me and made me push even harder that I have before!!

DJ AK (President and Founder of the Shadyville DJ)

What did you walk away with after the call?

It’s awesome that our president would use his resources and team to do outreach in the DJ community. Who does that?? A president that cares, that’s who.

What do you feel is music’s role in politics?

Music, in particular, Hip – Hop, plays a major role in politics. It’s the voice of a generation. The cool thing is through music you can bridge the gap between various generations. Everyone’s listening.

What are you doing in your city and among your fans to spark voters for Obama?

The best thing we all can do in our city and community is stay up on the facts and make ourselves available to those that are confused about issues or have questions as it relates to politics and our country.

What would you tell the Hip-Hop and urban community about the importance of this election?

VOTE as if your life depended on it, because it does. This is a very important period in the history of America and the world. We need to get it right.

Be counted. VOTE.

Tawni Fears is a freelance writer and contributor to AllHipHop.com. Follow her on Twitter (@brwnsugaT).

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