Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has won over one of hip-hop’s most outspoken artists–Killer Mike.
The Huffington Post reports the rapper announced his powerful endorsement of Sanders in a rally in his hometown of Atlanta. Ga.
Mike, who is one-half of the critically acclaimed duo Run The Jewels, spent the day with Sanders discussing the candidate’s policies and enjoyed a meal at the famous Busy Bee Cafe.
Mike has spent the year discussing police reform, voting rights and racial injustices at MIT as well as with multiple news outlets. The endorsement brings new light to Sanders’ platform as his competitor, Hillary Clinton, has enjoyed the endorsements of pop stars and influencers like Katy Perry, Mariah Carey and Kim Kardashian.
During his introductory speech for Sanders, he admits that after extensive research of the hopeful, he believes Sanders is the right man for the job. Speaking with Huff Post Live, Mike even says Sanders is the extension of the late Dr. Martin Luther King.
The Huffington Post reports:
“After having a discussion with him yesterday and [we] talked about, in particular, the legacy of Martin Luther King,” Mike tells Huff Post Live. “You know, when Dr. King died, he died with a set of plans and a goal, [one of which] was… to bring attention to the war machine that was financing the Vietnam War, and the only politician for the last 40, 50 years that’s been consistently lined up with King’s vision of social justice and people before corporations and the importance of honoring the poor and making sure they can rise above poverty is Bernie Sanders.”
Mike’s endorsement mirrors Jay Z’s endorsement for President Barack Obama in 2012. Activist Shaun King also gave Sanders his support and admits Mike isn’t on the same popularity scale as Kanye West and Mr. Carter, but his political views are widely respected and relatable to the hip-hop community.
King writes via The New York Daily News:
“In great part, that’s why having a guy like Bernie Sanders win over the endorsement of Killer Mike actually resonates deeply with hip hop heads around the country,” King says.”More than any point in recent memory, most of Killer Mike’s audience has worn thin about the perpetual over-promising and under-delivering of politicians. Speeches with no substantive follow-up really don’t resonate like they may have in the past.”
“Understanding that, Mike connected his own principles with Bernie’s primary campaign pillars. While conventional wisdom may hold that an endorsement from rappers with singles currently in the top 10 would hold more value, I reject that. By in large, folk don’t care what Drake or Future think about politics, but Killer Mike has built real credibility in the activism space and his endorsement mattered. Will it move the needle? It’s hard to say, but for a lot of people who love hip hop, the full throttle endorsement Mike gave might just loosen the lid on Bernie’s jar a little.”
Other celebrities and influencers of color who are “feeling the Bern” are rapper Lil B, Dr. Cornel West, former state Sen. Nina Turner and top immigration activist Cesar Vargas.