Last night hip hop powerhouses Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan teamed up with Rock the Vote to put on a concert in Atlanta encouraging young people of color to #turnoutforwhat and vote in today’s election. The irony of it all: Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug aren’t even eligible to vote today.
“I wasn’t able to vote,” Quan said in an interview with AtlantaBlackStar before he took the stage. “It was late. We registered today so next year we can vote.”
Despite not being able to actually vote themselves, Quan and Thug believe that it is important for them to lead by example—though in this case it’s more of a do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do type of situation.
“I feel it’s important to show people no matter who you are it’s always okay to vote and know what’s going on around you at all times,” said Thug.
Hearing Young Thug speak to the importance of being in tune with social issues is interesting following the controversy surrounding what he said recently on the red carpet at the BET Awards about how he wanted to stay out of the brewing conflict in Ferguson and leave it up to the law to handle.
According to Thug, the claims that he doesn’t care about what is going on in Ferguson and around the country are “ridiculous.”
“I lost my brother the same way,” Thug said. “The same street just like that. I looked at my mom cry just like that so I understand what happened and stuff. I understand how his mom and his dad feel and all for that. Everybody know we want to blow up them cops for doing that. I just felt like the BET Awards wasn’t the time to ask me nothing like that. You know I want to blow up the police for doing that. I looked at his mom and dad cry. I feel like that was one of the dumbest questions they could have asked me.”
Whether they intended to be or not, Thug and Quan have become role models for young people around the country and so the things that they do and say matter.
“Its almost like you’re on a pedestal,” Quan admitted. “If they see you do it, they are gonna do it. That’s how I look at it. It has to start somewhere.”
The show at the Tabernacle was free and open to everyone of voting age. The line was already beginning to wrap around the corner when the doors opened at 7 p.m as the free tickets were “sold out” well before the sun went down. A few lesser known performers opened up for Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan, getting the audience warmed up for what they really came to see.
Thug and Quan did not disappoint as they performed a variety of their individual and collaborative hits, including “Lifestyle,” “Walk Through” and “Get Out My Face.”
Although it was clear fans came to see the two rappers do what they do best, the theme for the night was never lost as the performers continually stressed the importance of voting throughout the show.
“We were thrilled to be working with these two distinctive artists who represent the future of hip-hop,” said Audrey Gelman, spokesperson for Rock The Vote. “Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan have a deep connection to an audience that is all too often left out of the political process. They recognize the importance of voting and want to make sure no one else misses the chance to make their voice heard just because they miss the registration deadline. Quan and Thug’s message is clear: if you’re registered, use that power to vote. If you’re not, it’s not too late to get ready for the next election.”