With a proven bigot in office, the Hip-Hop community now is taking political matters into their hands. A new party has been launched and is seeking the help of some legendary MC’s for representation.
Spearheaded by Jineea Butler, founder of the Hip Hop Union and Republican congressional candidate, the New American Party has been formed to advocate the interests and needs of urban communities.
The new political group is aiming to bring on some noted MC’s for representation. According to Butler she has been in communication with Busta Rhymes about potentially running in the New York Governor ballot. She has also reached out to LL Cool J who has yet to formally respond.
Jineea explains that securing top tier Rap talent as the face of the party will help drive awareness and votes. “We’re looking for somebody that can energize the vote so we can clear the 50,000 votes (needed to secure a guaranteed ballot line the next four years) and someone who resonates with millennials and young folks” she explained.
Even though her plans might be groundbreaking, time is against her. In order to secure a spot for the New American Party they would have to get 15,000 signatures via nomination petitions by August 21. However Butler remains confident she can get it done. “Part of what we want to show is that we can pull out large numbers in a short amount of time, that people can get involved in the political spectrum, and it’s worth the investment into the opportunity,” she claimed. “We’ve already got boots on the ground on this.”
Helping with this initiative is Eric B. of legendary Rap group Eric B. & Rakim. As of press time, Busta has not committed to a political run.
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A new political party wants the hip-hop stars to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a future gubernatorial race, according to the New York Daily News. The New American Party is seeking to get on the ballot for upcoming state elections to address urban issues better than past lawmakers.
Jineea Butler, founder of the Hip Hop Union and a Republican congressional candidate running against Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan), tells the newspaper that she’s spoken to Busta Rhymes about potentially running for governor on the New American Party line, but he has not yet committed. Butler said she’s also reached out to LL Cool J, but he hasn’t responded.
“We’re looking for somebody that can energize the vote so we can clear the 50,000 votes (needed to secure a guaranteed ballot line the next four years) and someone who resonates with millennials and young folks,” Butler told the Daily News.
“We’re juggling a bunch of candidates we can look at from the hip hop community,” she continued. “This would work right now in America… America needs something else. We’re fighting against each other. We’ve come too far in this country to go back to racism. Hip hop brought people together.”
Busta Rhymes, 46, whose real name is Trevor Smith Jr., and LL Cool J, 50, born James Todd Smith (not related), have not commented publicly on Butler’s interest.
Both hip-hop stars are New York City natives best known for music spanning the late ’80s, ’90s and 2000s. Both are also actors; LL Cool J also hosts “Lip Sync Battle” and recently launched his own SiriusXM channel Rock The Bells Radio.
Another hip-hop icon, Eric Barrier of Eric B. & Rakim, is reportedly assisting the New American Party in securing a high-profile candidate for governor.
According to the Daily News, the party is circulating petitions statewide in order to get the 15,000 signatures required by Aug. 21 to create the line for the upcoming election.
Butler told the newspaper that they’re trying to appeal to black voters who feel taken for granted by Democrats and ignored by Republicans. Organizers have also discussed offering the party’s lieutenant governor line to Democrat Jumaane Williams and the attorney general line to GOP candidate Keith Wofford, she added.
“The African-American community, we want to leverage our vote,” she explained. “Right now, we’re just being abused.”
“We’re looking for somebody that can energize the vote, so we can clear the 50,000 votes and someone who resonates with millennials and young folks,” she explained.
The line will be called the New American Party and Butler said she wanted to start it because she feels Republicans have given up on building a relationship with the Black community. She also said Democrats are aware of this and as a result, have taken the Black vote for granted.
To officially start the line, the congressional candidate will need 15,000 signatures across New York State by Aug. 21, and she believes it can be pulled off, despite the time constraints.
“Part of what we want to show is that we can pull out large numbers in a short amount of time, that people can get involved in the political spectrum, and it’s worth the investment into the opportunity,” she said. “We’ve already got boots on the ground on this.”
Photo Credit: Yahoo News Singapore