(AllHipHop News) Kendrick Lamar is one of the fastest rising, young rappers of today. But, he hasn't been overly political in his music as of late, especially in his recent smash hit, "Women, Weed and Weather", featuring mentor, Dr. Dre.
It came as a surprise to some when Lamar spoke out recently against voting - saying "I don't do voting" - particularly at a time when activists and politicians are working overtime to engage people to exercise their right to vote.
Rob “Biko” Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters Education Fund, is one of those leaders in the trenches in these last critical months before the 2012 Election. He has worked closely with rappers, pundits, activists, and even media partners like AllHipHop.com to cast their voter engagement far and wide.
Baker felt it was important to address Kendrick's statements - perhaps in an effort to avoid Lamar from dissuading his fanbase from showing up at the polls in November:
"I respect Kendrick Lamar's opinion. He isn't the only young leader frustrated with the state of the political process. But, by not participating in this and future elections, Kendrick Lamar is giving the very people he is frustrated with more free reign to continue to pull the levers the way they want to.
"This past weekend, I hung out with my family members who live in Kendrick's hometown, Compton, California. If Kendrick inspired his neighbors to think seriously about the strength of their vote, we could begin to alter the popular discourse, and more importantly, the economic policy of local and statewide government. I've seen it happen before, and I believe poor people in Compton can be mobilized to improve their living conditions.
"We have to stop thinking about ourselves as individual actors, and take our collective strength more seriously.
"I would love to chop it up with him." - Rob "Biko" Baker
About the League of Young Voters Education Fund: LYVEF empowers young people nationwide to participate in the democratic process and create progressive political change on the local, state and national level – with a focus on non-college youth and youth from low-income communities and communities of color. The League meets young people where they are, works on issues that affect their lives, and provides them with tools, training and support to become serious catalysts for change. For more information, visit YoungVoter.org.