The 2020 presidential election is here and music artists are speaking out to tell their fans to go out and vote.
Now, it’s not a new thing for music artists to talk about politics. Many artists use their music to send a message like John Lennon’s song “Imagine,” which talked about a life without religion, national borders, etc, or like Macklemore’s song “Same Love” that advocated for LQBGTQ+ rights.
However, even with some artists using music to express their thoughts and frustrations or getting involved in organizations that centered on getting more people to vote, it seems like the majority of artists choose not to speak about politics whether it be for personal reasons or fear of losing fans.
Musicians weren’t really ready to speak up about politics or saying who they were planning on voting for until 2018 when Taylor Swift made a post on Instagram saying she was done being silent about politics and when Kanye West started to hang around President Donald Trump as he wore the infamous red MAGA hat.
In Swift’s Instagram post, she explained she will always vote for candidates who will fight to protect human rights. She urged her followers to become educated on the candidates, so when they vote, they vote for someone that shares the same ideals that they have.
Two years after Swift’s post, more artists have become vocal about why people should vote, especially those newly of voting age.
Artists like Cardi B and Ariana Grande have expressed the importance of voting. They’ve been sharing resources and important deadlines for people to submit their ballot early.
Cardi B has even been going the extra mile when it comes to openly expressing her stance as a Democrat. When Bernie Sanders was still in the running for president she tweeted about her support for him. Once he dropped out from the race she turned her sights to Joe Biden; who she even interviewed to discuss racial issues, Medicare, and free college tuition.
In an interview for Sirius XM, Cardi B explained that the reason she chose to endorse Joe Biden was because, not only does she care about other people, she also cares about the state of the country. She she feels scared for the future if there is another four years under President Trump.
Even rapper Snoop Dogg is advocating for people to vote and has been very adamant about his dislike for President Trump. This will be Snoop Dogg’s first time voting ever, not because he didn’t care before, but he didn’t know he could vote due to past criminal charges that have since been expunged.
In an interview with People, Snoop explained that he is trying to lead by example.
“We got to make a difference, I can’t talk about it and not be about it,” he explained. “I can’t tell you to do it and then not go do it. If I tell you to do something, I done it already.”
Meanwhile, there are artists who support Donald Trump, like country singer Trace Adkins and Ted Nugent, and their social media posting has been considerably less compared to the more liberal musicians. This may have to do with artists and celebrities who support Trump being considerably older than some of the liberal artists who are more technically knowledgeable.
Nungent told LondonReal Tv that, “Donald Trump was sent here to prove that we the people identify the negativity of the status quo, we are more than aware of the criminal corruption and abuse of power just rampant in the Democratic party and all too often acceptable in the Republican party.”
A survey in Ohio concluded that star endorsements had no effect on most voters’ intentions in that year’s presidential race – and some celebrities actually put people off.
However, in 2018 Scott Lucas, a professor of American Studies at the University of Birmingham, told BBC that he believes celebrities like Taylor Swift could help motivate the younger generation to participating in the next presidential race.
“If I’m looking at 2020, if you get an increase in voter participation among 18-24’s … everything shifts in US politics. That’s where Taylor becomes important because they did get a surge in voter registration, especially among young people,” said Lucas.
Check out the website vote.org to find check your registration, find polling locations and more. The deadline to register to vote for California has passed but if you haven’t registered yet don’t worry.
According to vote.org “you can still conditionally register to vote and cast a provisional ballot in person at your County Elections Office at any time up to and including Election Day. Your provisional ballot will be counted when your County Elections Official verifies your voter registration.”