Grammy Award-winning artist LL Cool J says the American people need to ‘step up’ and use their voices to vote at the polls during the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3.
Speaking candidly this week on NBA star Carmelo Anthony’s weekly viral YouTube Live series, “What’s In Your Glass“, LL Cool J implored voters to “get out there” and slammed the recent U.S. Supreme Court appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
“Right now as a people we got to step up and make a move,” he said, adding, “Because we can’t be in a situation where we have Supreme Court scenarios where peoples’ certain rights are being taken away.”
“You got little old ladies out there, in line for four or five hours, because they want to vote. Their feet hurt, and their grandkids are on their nerves, and they are still out there. So get out there and vote!” he added.
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What started as a show where Carmelo could discuss the world of fine wine and favourite blends with friends has now evolved into an important opportunity to use his platform and influence, to discuss with other thought leaders how we have the power to harness and direct our energy towards tangible change, reform and progress.
On the latest episode, the two stars discussed how legendary hip-hop icons have been marginalized due to systematic racism, and highlighted the racial divide in America. “We’re in a situation where it’s never been more important for our people to know who we are and understand our value, and to invest in ourselves, invest in education. And when I talk about education I’m not just talking about what happens in the public schools or even the private schools. I’m talking about the dining room table, at home. You can either be sitting there watching some nonsense [on TV] or you can be filling your mind with something else that’s going to sharpen your sword and make your future brighter,” said LL Cool J.
Speaking about ongoing racial tensions in the country, Carmelo said that although he’ll continue to fight against prejudicial attitudes, the discrimination has been embedded in society for so long.
“We’ve been traumatized for so long, that’s all we know, that’s all we hear, that’s all we are used to. But I always try to find a way to smile, a way to find happiness, a way to preach happiness.I just think we need that as a society, a community, because the trauma is gonna be there, there’s going to continue being trauma, but that’s what we are fighting for. Not everybody is racist, but people’s actions will tell who they are and what side they are on,” he added.
LL Cool J said the real reason there’s a gap between old school hip-hop and the “new wave” of the genre is because Black artists don’t get treated with the same level of respect. “It’s because once we’re no longer the chart topper of the moment, we get pushed off. As opposed to Mick Jagger, he might be twice as old as me, but they’ll put him on a stage with whoever. And I got love for Mick Jagger, don’t get me wrong, this is no disparagement on Mick or any of them. […] But I decided I’m going to step up and be the dude that breaks that cycle so a young kid knows when they listen to LL Cool J or an A Tribe Called Quest album, they know he isn’t making an album to try to be the new wave. He is just making an album because he loves making his style of hip-hop.”
It’s not the first time the rapper has expressed his anger about racism, in June he dropped a fiery new rap on his Instagram account, addressing the history of racism in America, the killing of unarmed Black people, and more.
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“The whole nation is not racist. We just have a certain crew of people that play for a certain team, that have a certain jersey on, and that’s how they move. So we gotta remember that. This spirit of sadness, I don’t want it. It’s not what we need. Man up, woman up and let’s make this thing right. And the polls are the beginning,” he concluded.