In a new public service announcement released on Tuesday, the popular rapper Jay-Z urges young Americans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
"Our generation changed the world," proclaims Jay-Z, and he calls on young people to "fight for what’s right." The footage is from a June 2010 concert at Bonnaroo. Headcount, a nonpartisan organization that registers voters at concerts, produced the spot, which will run on CBS and cable channels.
The ad does not mention Obama or the Democrats. Jay-Z’s politics are closely associated with Obama, however, since he did major campaign events and videos for Obama’s 2008 campaign. In addition, during inauguration weekend, Obama introduced Jay-Z when he performed at the campaign’s official staff party, while Jay-Z’s wife, Beyonce, sang for the Obamas’ first inaugural dance.
Obama has also been reaching out to generation hip hop recently. He did a concert rally last weekend with the rap group The Roots, recorded a youth town hall with MTV, and sat down with that famous interview for Rolling Stone. So far, however, Jay-Z is only helping from a distance.
Below is the new public service announcement, followed by a "Know Your Rights" video created by the 2008 Obama campaign starring Jay-Z.