Remy Ma Breaks Down Voter Suppression & The Importance Of This Election (Video)
Midterm Election Day is less than one week away, and as always, Hip-Hop is assuming a big role in trying to get people to the polls. Whether it’s in the music or conversations outside of the studio, issues surrounding racial injustice, economic imbalance, gender discrimination and more often find the culture as one of their few megaphones.
During the most recent State Of The Culture episode, Joe Budden, Scottie Beam, Jynx, and Remy Ma discussed the importance of participating in November 4’s midterm elections. It was perhaps Remy though that gave the most impassioned argument surrounding voter suppression and the importance of voting against those trying to disenfranchise people away from casting their ballot (conversation begins at around the 24:00-mark).
“It’s not enough to just tell people to go vote,” the Bronx, New York MC said on the REVOLT program after the discussion began. “That’s not enough, and that’s where I think people are missing the mark as well. You can’t just say, ‘Go vote.’ You have to tell them how to vote and why am I voting. Do you know how many people out here, ‘You know Rem’, I hear what you’re saying, but I feel like my vote don’t count.’ And then when I started explaining to them and where I pointed out that they’re trying to get the Black vote, they’re trying to get the female vote.”
Remy also highlighted how Black women almost always vote their own in their own interest, which she says is scary to politicians on the right. The challenge she believes in is getting more people like her to the polls.
“When you have the Black females – the most important person you’re supposed to get through to [because] once you get to her, she’s going to tell her children, once you get to her, she’s gonna tell her man, and then everyone will get an understanding of what’s going on,” she says. “I feel like sometimes when we’re not informed – I can’t explain something to you if I don’t really know how it works. I’m still learning.”
In conclusion, Remy Ma brought up a slew of distractions she believes the current White House Administration is engaging in to try and disenfranchise people of color from voting and stoking up racial hatred toward those same groups to embolden his base. “Bombs are being sent out. ‘There’s this caravan of people, and there’s Middle Easterners in the middle of it, and we have to stop them.’ All of this, these are all distractions to take you away from the fact that, ‘Hey, there’s these midterms coming up and you guys need to be involved in it,'” she explained.
The Terror Squad MC added that she has been combing through her friend-groups to make sure people are registered. “You’re not registered? We gotta go vote; this is why. [I] take it seriously. The same way I’ll cut somebody off [for doing drugs is how I deal with people who claim that they are not voting]. We gotta really be on it like that. Because, at the end of the day, this affects my life, it affects my children’s lives, and I never would I ever have felt the way I feel had I not sat in prison for all those years, had I not come home and had numerous laws that [tried to stop me from voting].” Between 2008 and 2014 served a prison sentence for assault, illegal weapon possession and attempted coercion. The MC’s Rap career was derailed for much of that time. However, she explains a system that wanted to mute her in other ways.
Rem’ continues, “It wasn’t that I was in jail with nothing to do. When you’re in jail, you’re like, ‘Hold on. This [other] person did XYZ, and their [case] looks very similar to mine, and they’re sitting at home, chilling with their family. [But] they gave me eight years, and she’s going home in 12 months. Hold on. Wait a minute. I come home; I can’t vote. I didn’t see that in my paperwork! Hold on; I can’t own a liquor store. I can’t get a license to [something else]. I didn’t see that in my paperwork.’ There’s all these little rules that I wouldn’t even understand. I don’t care what I was convicted for! I don’t care how many years I did! If I did it and I’m home, and I’m right now a law-abiding citizen, what does that have to do with my ability to vote? Obviously, my vote matters! ‘Cause you’re trying to take it away from me any chance that you can get!”
Numerous U.S. House of Representatives and Senate races are up for grabs next Tuesday, November 6. Governorship, state and local issues, as well as state congressional races, are also on the ballot. To find out who’s on what ticket, as well as information about voting locations, registration and more, visit Vote411.org.