This year’s Get Out & Vote rally hosted a kick-off concert sponsored by Maryland organizations Black Girls Vote, Young Gets It Done, and 1199 SEIU, to focus on encouraging millennials everywhere to vote, no matter the political party, at Morgan State University. The traditional political campaigns typically miss the mark in terms of relating to and reaching the millennial audience, and the midterm elections are a big deal, especially in today’s climate with everything that has been going on.
Young Gets It Done came up with a way to energize millennial voters, to get out and vote for the midterm elections. The thought was, to bring together some of today’s cultural influencers, that the youth demographic target adheres to. Using Hip-hop’s biggest stars has a way of engaging younger voters, and we must say, that the rally was well planned and executed. It was a wonderful time to socialize as well as ensure that millennials head to the polls this month.
We had a chance to catch up with the Young Gets It Done founder, Marvin Bing, as well as hip hop artists, Dave East, G Herbo, and Ari Lennox.
MillBuzz: Marvin, what inspired you to curate the YGID movement?
Bing: I felt there was a huge gap (intentional or not) with how campaigns, campaign consultants, candidates, and political parties decide who to target what communities to “organize”, in as well as create marketing strategies, and I found that almost all of them never speak to the particular parts of the black community that are young, non-traditional, inner city, non-apolitical, or have a degree from prestigious (that they would consider anyway) institutions. I felt the “sleeping majority”, is our young non-traditional voters of color, and we needed to be intentional about speaking to them in a language they understand.
MillBuzz: You’ve selected an amazing line up of artists for this year’s YGID event. Ari Lennox, Bri Steves, Dave East, G Herbo, Gia Peppers, Scottie Beam, and more. What is the secret to unifying so many great artists and creatives for this amazing cause?
Bing: You just must know. You must understand culture, and I’m not talking mainstream culture. I’m not talking about John Legend or Common (I mean no disrespect), I mean who has the pulse on our youth in the inner city, who has the attention of the zip codes that people fear walking into, who has our youth willing to stand in the rain on a Saturday night to hear them perform. These artists and influencers are that, and the artists themselves are so much more than we give them credit for. They come from something real and they can tell a story. Some of these mainstream folks can’t or won’t because their bottom line doesn’t allow them to be honest, real, and remember where they come from.
MillBuzz: With the tremendous influence that social media has on millennials and having access to their favorite artists and politics, what’s your advice to the youth who feel like their vote doesn’t matter?
Bing: It matters if we make it matter. We are more powerful than any age or race demo in the world. If we unite under an inner city, urban agenda coalition, brought together all the young artists, and make a pact to support, encourage, and work in our communities, I think you would see what my mentor always described as the beautiful mosaic. We can influence and win any election not just nationally, but locally as well. We can change the outcomes of unjust policies, unfair working conditions, and anything else. Our culture, and our communities have that power, we just must know we have it, and use it in the right manner.
MillBuzz: What’s next for YGID?
Bing: We are looking to build a national campaign that will roll out under a new brand with deep cultural and community organizing in 2019 and unite our collective power as we head into 2020.
MillBuzz: Where can we learn more info about registering to vote with YGID?
Bing: We are shifting and building our internal infrastructure. Right now, I would say stay tuned and look out for something around Black History Month 2019.
MillBuzz: How has being a father changed your perspective on life as it relates to politics?
East: Being a father put politics in perspective because every voice counts. The President doesn’t care about people of color, so we must come together to bring change in today’s society. I’m totally against the government and what it stands for. I truly believe in and love supporting youth, especially with pre-election rallies like the Young Get It Done movement, encouraging our leaders of tomorrow to vote. It is their time to be the change our ancestors fought and died for.
MillBuzz: How would you describe your experience the first time you voted?
East: The midterm election will be my first time officially voting in my almost thirty years of life. The youth has inspired me to want to be more involved.
MillBuzz: What would you say to the millennial father that doesn’t believe his vote will make or break the state of our country?
East: Father’s should want to vote for the sake of their children’s future. We must build each other up to make change happen.
MillBuzz: What’s next for Dave East?
East: I’m featured in a few movies and tour dates will be dropping soon, too.
The talented rapper G Herbo just celebrated his “Jordan Year” birthday and exudes maturity and wisdom. He believes social media distorts the true depiction of what’s reality, which consists of time with his family and most importantly, his son.
MillBuzz: What is work life balance in the digital age?
Herbo: I’m honestly an introvert and only use social media to connect with my fans, for them to get to know the real me. If it wasn’t necessary to have social media for business purposes, I more than likely wouldn’t have it. I have a good grasp on my work life balance, solely because it revolves around my son. My son is my number one priority, and my tour dates and press and media conferences are based around him. I’m investing in my son’s future, by working hard now so I can show him that he can have it all in this digital age.
MillBuzz: What would you say to that millennial father that doesn’t believe his vote will make or break the state of our country?
Herbo: We complain so much about life, and don’t do anything about it. You have to want to put in the effort, and not half ass your way through life. Just simply get your ass up and be the change! Go after that job, help your kid with their homework, be at the parent teacher conference that could make or break your child’s future. It’s all about decisions that a father is willing to make. Either he will be lazy or get active.
MillBuzz: With your super dope EP Ariography & Pho, when did you realize singing and songwriting was your calling?
Lennox: I didn’t know songwriting was my calling because I was like singers don’t write music, and their role is singing first and songwriting second. For a long time, I doubted my ability to write songs because of someone else’s opinion. I decided to challenge myself to write, and now people are singing songs that I wrote.
MillBuzz: Since being signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville label, what have you learned about the music industry and how it relates to politics?
Lennox: I appreciate the Young Gets It Done movement because as artists, we have an unmatched on the youth impact, just like politicians, so it’s important that we vote and encourage other millennials as well. People in office are ruining lives for people of color silently, and as an artist I feel obligated to evoke change with my new platform.
MillBuzz: How does it feel to hit the stage right outside your hometown singing “Whipped Cream” and encouraging today’s generation to vote in this year’s midterm elections? Can you sum it up in three words?
Lennox: A freakin’ blessing! My mom grew up in Baltimore & my late uncle was once a professor at Morgan State University. It’s definitely nostalgic!
MillBuzz: What’s next for Ari Lennox? Can we expect an Ari Lennox and J. Cole collab to bless the radio waves anytime soon?
Lennox: Yes, actually! I can’t share too many details but an Ari Lennox and J. Cole collab is underway as we speak. I’m also dropping an EP soon, and an album in 2019.
The Young Gets It Done pre-election day rally was an empowering event that showed millennials that even though we may feel powerless with the current administration, there is power in our voice and our vote. The only ones that can take away our voice and our right to vote is ourselves.
On Tuesday November 6th VOTE!