Offset’s past run-ins with the law left him labeled as a felon and without several privileges, including traditional employment, the ability to own a firearm and the right to vote.
The Migos member, whose real name is Kiari Kendrell Cephus, recently restored his right to vote and has now teamed up with Rolling Stone magazine to spread awareness to others, all while encouraging his fans to vote in the upcoming 2020 presidential elections.
Offset, 28, appeared in a public service announcement clip where he spoke on how happy he was to be able to vote. The rapper also detailed how his probation officer told him that he could no longer legally vote following his first felony conviction at the age of 17. The rapper said, “It just made me feel like I wasn’t wanted or supposed to be involved.”
Yet, despite the false information, Offset said he was still hesitant to vote. After receiving some insight from his mother, Latabia Woodward, the Grammy-nominated star called up his lawyer to ensure that he wasn’t doing anything illegal and learned that he was cleared to vote. “To me, it was an accomplishment. Like ‘Damn, I graduated high school,’ ” the rapper expressed.
As the video went on, the Georgia native noted, “look what we’ve done so far,” as footage from his hometown of Atlanta and Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations rolled. Offset concluded his PSA saying, “It still could be 10 times better, but you’ve gotta vote. That’s what changes the rules, change the laws. I really felt good voting because I was told I couldn’t, or I was told I wouldn’t be able to clean up or get away from my past and look where I’m at now.” He added, “I voted, and I was able to be a part of where I live, which is at home here in America. My voice matters.”
Offset joins a group of entertainers who will be voting for the first-time, including Shaquille O’Neal and Mike Tyson. Like Offset, Mike also thought he couldn’t vote because of his felony. In Sept., the boxing legend tweeted the shocking news to his 5 million followers on Twitter. The boxer also shared a link so others could register to vote.
“This election will be my 1st time voting,” he tweeted. “I never thought I could because of my felony record. I’m proud to finally vote. Go to https://usa.gov/register-to-vote… to register. #NationalVoterRegistrationDay.”