Hip-hop has a “huge” influence on voter engagement, says 2 Chainz.
The Atlanta rapper and entrepreneur, whose new album So Help Me God, drops on November 13, spoke to ET's Melicia Johnson about encouraging and educating potential voters, and his upcoming performance at the 2020 BET Hip-Hop Awards.
“Hip-hop has played a huge role in voting,” 2 Chainz told ET. “You saw [Sean “Diddy” Combs'] Vote or Die [campaign],15 years ago. We understand our voice. We understand our platform. We’re conscious of our influence now. We know when you say ‘culture’ you're talking about us, so we’re just being specific now.”
With 9.1 million Instagram followers, 2 Chainz noted why it's important for him to use his platform for more than just music. “Once you realize your influence, you understand how to channel that,” he said. “Especially being in hip-hop, it’s not hard to do.”
“I align myself organically with stuff that pertains to me,” he continued. “Letting felons know ‘You can vote, just do your research.’ Letting the youth know ‘You can be better than what you’re doing if you live long enough, stay out of jail, stay out of the coffin.’”
The married father of three, who said that he now has “more businesses than I do children,” is sowing the seeds of entrepreneurship so that his family will have access to generational wealth. “I’m in a really great place right now, not just financially, but spiritually.”
Next week, 2 Chainz will take the virtual stage at the BET Hip-Hop Awards for what he promises to be an “epic” performance alongside Lil Wayne.
“It’s a tribute to Blackness,” he shared. “I consider it very rare for me and [Wayne] to do something like this without it looking like we’re reaching, or being preachy.”
The BET Awards will air on Oct. 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on BET.