Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Trump courts rappers as surrogates for his campaign to win more voters of color

By 37ci3 Jun20,2024



The former president was joined on stage by the church’s pastor and several prominent black Republicans at a Detroit church held by Donald Trump for Black voters last weekend. So did another unlikely figure: rapper Casada Sorrell, better known as Sada Baby.

Most Republican voters may not be familiar with Sada Baby, but there’s a good chance their children are. In 2020, he went viral with his “single”.Whole Lotta Choppas,” a mainstay of the pandemic on TikTok, was among the first viral posts on the app.

Years later, he sat on stage inches away from Trump and said, “He might be the first person to get me to vote,” in part because Trump’s team contacted him.

“His reaching out gave me a kind of effort that no other candidate has ever shown,” Sorrell said, noting that Trump could have gone after a bigger Detroit name like rapper Eminem. famous critic from him). “I try to act like it doesn’t mean a lot, but it does mean a lot.”

And this is not a one-time act. While Trump is busy courting young voters of color, one strategy of his campaign is to turn rap stars into surrogates, not just nationally recognized names but prominent small acts in their local communities.

The campaign hopes the outreach will create a permission structure for undecided voters in communities with little history of supporting Republicans to at least consider Trump’s message. And Trump embracing rappers — and they embracing him — could be a feature in this election, according to polling data. The generational divide among black votersyounger members of the community are more receptive to Trump.

Icewear Vezzo, another Detroit-based rapper who attended a Trump event in Michigan, encouraged fans to think of Trump after backlash against him. poses with it after the round table.

“Why can’t we respectfully disagree anymore,” Vezzo wrote to his 1 million Instagram followers. “Do you know what builds great companies and great civilizations? They all went and gathered a team of people who thought differently from them.”

During Trump’s rally in the Bronx, New York, days before his trial for criminal silence, he brought out Brooklyn rappers Sheff G and Sleepy Hallow, mainstays of New York’s increasingly influential workout scene. A week ago, both of them A 140-point indictment In Brooklyn, a rival group has accused gang members of “shooting, possessing weapons and using stolen cars.”

“One thing I mean is they will always whisper your successes and shout your failures. Trump will scream victories for all of us,” said Chef G, whose real name is Michael Williams.

Tegan Chambers (aka Sleepy Hallow) had one line when asked to speak: “Make America Great Again.”

A spokesperson for the Trump campaign called Trump’s connection to the rap community “absolutely organic” and said the message resonated with artists who are unhappy with President Joe Biden’s immigration and economic policies.

“While Joe Biden lit up black voters with meaningless ads, empty promises and inappropriate messages, President Trump is reaching out to these communities and listening to the leaders within them, including rappers, pastors and business leaders,” said Janiyah Thomas, the campaign’s Black media director.

The Biden campaign suggested in a statement that Trump’s embrace of rappers has done little to address what it described as “disrespecting black communities at every opportunity.”

“That’s why the first thing he did after taking over the RNC was to shut down its minority outreach centers, and that’s why his campaign continues to do so-called ‘goodies’ in white neighborhoods and to white audiences.” “Our campaign is connecting with our communities on important issues, and President Biden is showing up to win the support of black Americans,” said Sarafina Chitika, spokeswoman for the Biden-Harris campaign.

The Biden campaign didn’t reach out to rappers to the same extent, instead prioritizing access to black media outlets. Shadow room and giving interviews on nearly two dozen Black radio programs this election cycle.

Vice President Kamala Harris attended a gun violence prevention event hosted by Atlanta-based rapper Quavo on Tuesday. Meeting at the White House He was with her in September. Quavo has yet to officially endorse the Biden-Harris campaign.

But while he hasn’t actively sought endorsements from rappers, the Biden campaign notes that he’s reached out to voters with appearances at several black music and culture events, including J. Cole’s Dreamville Fest and Usher’s Lovers & Friends Fest in North Carolina. is preparing a game for Las Vegas.

Features Trump and famous rappers together

Trump’s reputation recovery from some rap artists has been fueled in part by praise for his handling of criminal justice issues.

Rappers lil wayne and Kodak Black After Trump included both, he became a vocal supporter 143 list of pardons and substitutions In the final hours of his term in 2021.

“I want to thank President Trump for recognizing that I have a lot to give to my family, my art, and my community.” Lil Wayne said A day after Biden’s inauguration on Twitter.

Trump’s 2018 First Step Act, the most significant federal criminal justice reform this century, has also been credited with shortening prison terms for some non-violent criminals and implementing sentencing reforms. That’s one of the reasons Billboard chart-topping rapper Sexy Red cited for supporting Trump.

“I like Trump,” Sexy Red said interview with comedian Theo Vaughn. “Once he started bailing black people out of jail and giving people free money. Oh boy, we love Trump. We need him to return to office.”

As Red said, the Trump administration has been praised for the stimulus funds it provided to tens of millions of people during the Covid-19 pandemic under the Paycheck Protection Program. name is printed Checks mailed across the country at fronts.

“Black people were not with Trump, but when this PPP and everything came out, Black people forgave him.” West Coast rapper YG saidabout eight years after his release a diss track He protested Trump’s candidacy for the presidency in 2016.

Rapper 50 Cent told reporters during a visit to Capitol Hill where he met with Republicans including House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado that he sees black men equating Trump because “there are RICO charges.” [too].” It was faith Perpetuated by Trump and shared by some Black supporters.

Emmuel Brown, 77, a Detroit resident who attended Trump’s last event there, said that “a lot of black people have had problems, so they can identify with Trump.”

But other voters are turning their backs on Trump’s claim that he is more favorable because of black crime. Most of the participants are one An NBC News focus group of undecided black voters in North Carolina called the claim racist.

“It’s like an insult,” said Kelly P., 38, of Jacksonville, North Carolina. “Are you serious? That’s what you think of us?”

Can rappers pick voters?

Some critics downplayed Trump’s embrace of rappers, noting that he boasted about his endorsements in 2020. Legacy moves like Kanye West and acts like a young man then viral Lil Pump – but did not achieve a significant increase in support from black voters compared to 2016.

For some voters in the battleground states, the rappers’ support is a reminder of the influence Trump once held in hip-hop, when he was highly regarded as a desirable figure and regularly dropped his name on records.

“Growing up I listened to 50 Cent. I was hearing Donald Trump on mixtapes,” said Emani L., 32, of Georgia, who declined to give her last name. “Having a president who used to come together with people from where I came from? Come on, man. Come on.”

Mansa King, a sociologist who studies racial inequality, said using rappers as surrogates could attract the attention of various coalitions of young voters, noting that “rappers go beyond the Black demographic.”

But King also highlighted the challenge Trump’s campaign may face in using culturally relevant entertainment to galvanize young voters.

“Young people can be very excited about someone, but they may not translate it into what is needed to influence voting behavior at the most important levels,” King said. “Translating people’s enthusiasm or support for a candidate into actually registering and going to the polls on Election Day is a whole different bag.”

But if Trump’s appeal to entertainment boosts his support among voters of color by even a few percentage points, it could have a big impact in the upcoming election.

“I can’t deny it,” King said. “I don’t think he needs to get a majority. I think he should cut a pretty significant minority of votes. And I could see it happening through this simple strategy.”





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