Rappers Who Can’t Vote
In 2008, when then-Senator Barack Obama was seeking his first term in the Oval Office, rapper Clifford “T.I.” Harris, learned that under a Georgia law he was permitted to vote. Felons are eligible to exercise the right if they’re not currently serving probation or a prison sentence. At that time, the “Whatever You Like” rapper was facing sentencing for a federal weapons conviction after he was apprehended in Atlanta hours before the BET Hip Hop Awards. Lucky for the Troubleman rapper, his probation ended this past September, so it’s back to the polls for him. He announced on BET’s 106 & Park, “I am proud to say that this year on the same day of the BET Hip Hop Awards, I will close that chapter and be off probation on September 29th.”
According to the Sentencing Project, nearly 5.85 million Americans will likely be barred from voting on Nov. 6, not because of the current voter suppression rules that making today’s headlines, but due to felony disenfranchisement. The are 2 million African Americans disenfranchised because of felony convictions.
Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming are states that deny the right to vote not only to inmates but also to those on parole and probation and those who have completed their sentences.
Tauheed “2 Chainz” Epps is a spokesperson for “Respect My Vote,” a campaign that targets young, urban voters and provides information on reinstating voting rights for ex-felons.
In a recent interview with BET’s T.J. Holmes on the subject of voting, 2 Chainz, aka Tity Boi, shared his thoughts about felons voting, “I just feel like everyone deserves a second chance, depending on the crime of course. Being that I was 15, I feel like I wasn’t mature enough. I feel like I could have succumb to some kind of peer pressure. There [were] always older people around. That’s not an excuse for none of the things that took place, but just for me, I feel like if someone makes mistakes before they’re 18, or before they can even drive, I feel like they should just be given another opportunity, depending on how severe the case was.”
“I realized that you can vote again once you’re a felon.”
Unfortunately, there are quite a few rappers on the list who won’t be blessed with the same favor and fate as T.I. and 2 Chainz. Find out who they are. –yvette caslin