Rap Group and Labor Union Link Up to Spark a Youth Vote Movement
By Isaac Fitzgerald, AlterNet
Posted on October 20, 2008, Printed on October 22, 2008
Rap artist Slug and band mate Ant (Sean Daley and Anthony Davis respectively) have linked up with an unusual collaborator, and it isn't a fellow member of the alt-hip-hop scene. No, the two men, together known as the Minneapolis based group Atmosphere, are working with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in hopes of helping spark a youth vote movement. With their "Be the Difference" campaign, the union and rap group hope to encourage thousands of young people to both register to vote and then actually vote on November 4th ... and they aren't being shy about who they would prefer these thousands of youth to vote for.
Says Slug, "I'm going to tell people to vote for Obama. I'm going to wear his shirt. I'm gonna, you know, put the button on my backpack."
And so far the movement seems to be working. As one University of Wisconsin student says, "I think the youth vote is huge. McCain better watch out if we show up."
But that is the question: will the youth come out and vote on election day? With Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' "Vote or Die" debacle in 2004 still fresh in many people's minds, it will be interesting to see if Atmosphere's team-up with SEIU will pay off -- if young adults will rise to the occasion, get to the polls, and actually "Be the Difference."