The hip hop star says he was fueled by George W. Bush.
After First Lady Michelle Obama delivered her incredible speech at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, party attendees at Charlotte's Fillmore received another treat and performance from Chi-town rapper Common. The celebrity was there to support President Obama and the RIAA's Musicians on Call program, which brings artists to the bedsides of sick patients.
"When I found out exactly what they were about, I was really enthused and inspired about it," Common shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm an artist, and I feel like art can not only inspire, it can heal, it can soothe people. It has done that for me, so I know it does it for others, as well."
The rapper continued that he was "adamant" about supporting President Obama and being present at the Democratic National Convention. When asked about his first time voting, he admitted that he didn't hit the polls until 2004 after being frustrated by former President Bush's leadership over the country.
"I really, at one point, didn't have so much faith in the political process," he confessed. "It was 2004, and it was George Bush. I just felt that I had to do something because I felt like our country was not being directed in the right way, and I decided to place my vote."
It was that election, when Bush ran against Democratic candidate John Kerry, that the hip hop community experienced the powerful Vote or Die campaign led by Diddy and Citizen Change to push youth voter registration. While Kerry didn't win and Bush's policy would reign for another four years, it was a pivotal moment for the intersection of hip hop and politics. Despite the defeat, Common says he has more faith in the political system these days and even called it "impactful."
"We have to affect the world in many different ways. We can do it through politics, we can do it through activism, we can do it through music, we can do it through philanthropic work," Common explained.
Needless to say, he's championing President Obama's advocacy for each person playing a part in catalyzing change.
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(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive)