Hillary Clinton racks up rapper endorsements
(May 23, 2015) — A growing number of rappers are queuing up plans to make beautiful music with the front-runner Democratic presidential candidate: Hillary Clinton.
An early high-profile endorsement came from Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame, who announced his own candidacy for the 2016 presidential race on 4/20 last month in a video posted by Rolling Stone, promising to legalize marijuana if he became president.
Waka later endorsed Clinton in an interview with MTV News, proclaiming that “A woman could do it. I’ve seen my momma raise five boys — that’s super hard, so women can do the same s— that men could do,” adding that he might even help Clinton with her campaign if she helps him promote his newest album, “Flockaveli 2.”
Another Clinton endorsement came from Queens rapper Ja Rule, who topped U.S. Billboard charts in the early and mid 2000s.
In an interview with Fox Business, the “I’m Real” rapper said “I like Hillary. But, you know, it’s crazy because … I also think Jeb is a good candidate as well.” But Ja quickly added that he’s a Democrat, “so yeah, so I would vote Hillary.”
And earlier this month, Clinton won a ringing endorsement from legendary rapper Snoop Dogg, who endorsed Texas Rep. Ron Paul in 2012 due to the Republican’s stance on marijuana, before voicing support for Obama.
In an interview on Bravo TV, the “Peaches N Cream” rapper said “I’ll say that I would love to see a woman in office because I feel like we’re at that stage in life to where we need a perspective other than the male’s train of thought,” and added that he will be voting for “Ms. Clinton.”
Back in 2008, Snoop told Larry King that he was torn between Clinton and Obama but this time around, he is unambiguously backing Clinton.
And most recently, the former secretary of state got an enthusiastic endorsement from rapper and actor 50 Cent on Thursday, who had also said that he “likes Hillary” back in 2007, during her primary fight with then Sen. Obama.
Unlike many celebrities who often have a strong allegiance to the Democratic Party, 50 Cent has expressed support for former President George W. Bush in the past, calling him “incredible” and “a gangsta.”
He also famously defended Bush in 2005 when Kanye West said that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” following the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
But almost ten years later, the “In Da Club” rapper has left no room for ambiguity, proclaiming that “It’s Hillary time” during an interview with the Daily Beast.
The hip-hop star said that having been the First Lady during Bill Clinton’s presidency, makes it so that “Hillary was the president already once.”
“Some of the things she says feel really comfortable, and roll off. When people are really close with each other, they use each other as soundboards because they’re the other person’s best friend,” 50 Cent said, referring to the relationship between Clinton and her husband.
Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky said in a recent interview that Clinton is one of “the best” and R&B singer Ne-Yo called Clinton “a favorite of mine.”
Even Beyoncé, or Queen Bey to her fans, has reportedly attend a Hillary Clinton fundraiser.
But do these public nods to Clinton from high-profile performers help draw in young supporters to her campaign?
“Getting early endorsements from pop culture figures is always helpful to a campaign to generate interest and enthusiasm,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons, “But Secretary Clinton will still have to close the sale with young voters.”
Simmons served as an adviser to P Diddy, during the rappers’ Vote or Die campaign, targeting young voters.
Republican strategist Kristen Soltis-Anderson, who authored “Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation,” said that while she doesn’t think that a significant amount of voters “actually go to the polls and make a decision in favor of a candidate based on a celebrity endorsement,” at this stage endorsements draw attention to a candidate.
Anderson said that many young people are currently “checked out of the presidential campaign process,” so high-profile endorsements “certainly put a candidate in front of people who might, otherwise, not be paying attention to the race.”