Back With A Vengeance by Lady K

On Thursday, August 4th, Vic Mensa and Joey Purp had The Roxy turnt all the way UP! Los Angeles was the second-to-last stop on their 11 city “Back With A Vengeance” tour. Vic Mensa has been making hip hop headlines in 2016 and there’s good reason why. He’s passionate about the music he releases, but more importantly, the messages in each song.


We had a great team of volunteers who walked up and down the line of fans registered to vote or, if they were already registered, pledge to vote this November. Our team stationed at the voter registration table inside The Roxy, were personally thanked by Vic Mensa. As he was prepping for sound check, he came over to the table, and the first thing he said was that he wished we were on all the tour dates with him. Encouraging people to use their voting power is important to Vic, and it resonated throughout the show. Vic made a call to action in the middle of the show, asking his fans to vote this Fall. It was a powerful, memorable moment.

As we met with fans, there was a young lady in particular named Stephanie who made me realize something important: I helped her register to vote for her first eligible election…. EVER! She was so excited to register with us. The fact that the Hip Hop Caucus is going to help her (and many others we have registered this year) participate in their first voting experience, makes it that much more worthwhile to do the work we do. Because of us, she will have a voice through her vote!


There was another young man who had voted earlier this year while living in Chicago, but hadn’t had the chance to re-register in California so he could vote here in November. Because of our presence at the show, he was able to see an awesome concert AND re-register to vote in the state of California! Double win.

And, then there was Devon who was so appreciative to see us at the concert getting people engaged in the importance of voting. She said she had been waiting to see something like this at a show because it’s so necessary, especially with the upcoming election, to get as many Americans as we can to commit to their civic responsibilities.

Vic’s set was energetic, filled with passion AND purpose. He performed “16 Shots” twice (a song about the murder of Laquan McDonald’s), “U Mad” (who features the infamous Mr. Kanye West), “Free Love” (a song in support of the LGBTQ community and honoring those killed in the mass shooting in Orlando), and his crowd-favorite single “New Bae”. He also performed the self-titled EP track “There’s A Lot Going On” (release in collaboration with Roc Nation and Respect My Vote!). Just before he performed “Shades Of Blue” ( a song about the tragedy in Flint, Michigan) he gave a special shoutout to the Hip Hop Caucus and the Respect My Vote! Campaign. He told the crowd about what a major key it is to get out and vote: “This is a power that you HAVE to use ‘cause right now, we’re at the middle of a crossroads. It’s like, one decision as a nation could really lead to the end of everything. So, choose wisely.”

Vic stands out to me as an artist in today’s social media-driven society because he truly cares about the important issues we are facing. That’s exactly why we, the Hip Hop Caucus, knew he would be the PERFECT spokesperson for this year’s Respect My Vote! campaign.


TODAY IS ELECTION DAY! Let’s get out there and VOTE!


Today is the BIG DAY! Now its time to exercise your right in our great democracy. Get to your polls and cast your vote today!

Here is a link to find your POLLING PLACE –

Here is a link with info for your ELECTION PROTECTION –

If you have any problems at the polls, you can call 1-866-OUR-VOTE and they can help answer your questions.

hhc rmv


Respect My Vote! Celebrity PSA and Photo Shoot

Click here to watch livestream footage

Plan to tune into the live-stream here. Follow us @HipHopCaucus and like us on Facebook for real time updates on when to tune in over Memorial Day Weekend.

This weekend we’ll be in Miami shooting the first round of celebrity photos and PSAs for the 2012 Respect My Vote! campaign. We’ll be live-streaming the shoot here at, so you can see all the behind-the-scenes!

We want to know from YOU, what is the most compelling way to explain the importance of voting to potential young voters? What are the best messages, the best reasons, the best arguments, the most important issues, the best phrases to that we can use to convey the importance of voting?

We believe that you know better than us. So give us your ideas in the comments below, hit us up on twitter @HipHopCaucus #RespectMyVote, or on Facebook. We’ll take the best ideas and use them this weekend! Remember we’re non-partisan, so we aren’t saying who to vote for, we want people to make that decision for themselves and have their voices heard.



Respect My Vote!

2 Chainz Joins Respect My Vote! Campaign
2 Chainz
2 Chainz writes on why he is a spokesperson for the Respect My Vote! campaign.

The following is an op-ed by 2 Chainz. To learn more about his involvement in the Respect My Vote! campaign see the joint press release from Hip Hop Caucus and Def Jam.

I’ve had a felony record since I was 15 years old. I made mistakes when I was too young to know different or better. I, like many, thought that because I was once a felon, I had lost my right to vote forever. Then I did some research, and I learned that wasn’t the case. Every state has somewhat different laws, but in most cases ex-felons can vote.

When I realized I could vote, it was a major moment. I really tripped over the fact that I could vote. It meant I had another chance. It meant I had a say in the course of this country.

Voting is something that we are told is part of what being an American is. I thought for much of my life that I would never have a voice in our democracy, that I would never be listened to at the most basic level of what it is to be a citizen of this country.

If you have never lost your right to vote, you can’t understand. But for those of us who have been disenfranchised, getting a second chance at having a voice and being respected means everything. It changes how you feel about who you are in relation to this country. You go from thinking you are powerless to knowing that you have a role in influencing the system.

Many of my friends have records, but we are all onto other things now. It is a core American value that people have access to a second chance. Once I knew I could vote, I made sure every single one of my friends knew they could register to vote too, and they did.

As workers, as business owners, as parents, as contributing members of society, ex-felons need to know that they can vote. I personally have been working to inform brothers and sisters of their voting rights for years, and this year I am serving as a spokesperson for the 2012 “Respect My Vote!” campaign led by the Hip Hop Caucus and a coalition of national and local organizations. Respect My Vote!, among many things, informs ex-felons of their voting rights and helps them get registered to vote.

When I looked into the issue of felon disenfranchisement, this is what I found out: The set of laws that makes it difficult for ex-felons to get their voting rights back is the only set of Jim Crow laws that have expanded since Jim Crow. Our criminal justice system is such that people of color, particularly Black men, are over-incarcerated. According to the Sentencing Project, an estimated 1.4 million African American men – 13% of Black men – are disenfranchised at a rate seven times the national average. Given current rates of incarceration, three in ten of the next generation of Black men can expect to be disenfranchised at some point in their lifetime.

By making it harder for ex-felons to register to vote in some states, and by letting people believe that ex-felons can’t vote, significant numbers of people of color people are kept from the ballot box. This doesn’t just hurt ex-offenders who have paid their debt to society; it also hurts our communities because we are less represented in the political process.

As an artist, and more importantly as a man who is blessed with a platform, I want to use my voice to speak on this issue, to educate people, and let this be a signal to others who have made mistakes that they can come back; they will be respected.

I am asking my fans, and everyone who considers themselves an American, to learn about the laws in your state about ex-felons voting rights. In Maine and Vermont prisoners do not loose their right to vote at all. In 35 states, after finishing parole and probation you get your voting rights back. In some states, once you are released from prison you can vote, while on parole or probation. Also, in some states, while you are in jail for a misdemeanor, you can vote.

Laws in 8 states do call for lifetime disenfranchisement for certain categories of people with felony convictions, and four states ban all such persons from voting. We have to stand up for these laws to be changed. It’s not right that once people have done their time, they don’t get their full rights as citizens back.

Get registered to vote, you can fill out your voter registration form online, then print it, sign it, and mail it in. It’s more than worth the 15 minutes it will take you and the cost of a stamp.

Then, start talking about voting with everyone you know. We’ve got to dispel this myth that ex-felons loose their right to vote. Volunteer some of your time to the Respect My Vote! campaign. Together, we are registering young voters, in the hood and on college campuses.

I’m going to make sure that all artists and celebrities in my circles are out front on this as well. We aren’t telling people who to vote for, we’re just saying, VOTE. Know your rights, and use them.

I am a voter. I wore my “I voted” sticker with pride last election, and I will again this November.

#RespectMyVote for reform of felon disenfranchisement laws.


– 2 Chainz

Follow @2Chainz



Want to share your skills and passion with the Respect My Vote! family? Sign up to volunteer. We’d love to have you involved!

[gravityform id=”2″ name=”Volunteer” title=”false” ajax=”true”]