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Politico
POLITICO
9 Sep 2023
Andrew Zhang


NextImg:‘Black America’s CNN’: Harris talks Chuck D, calls to action at hip hop celebration

Vice President Kamala Harris celebrated 50 years of hip-hop’s influence on American arts and culture Saturday, honoring the genre’s prominent Black roots as the Democratic ticket seeks to retain the community’s support in their 2024 reelection bids.

“Hip-hop is the ultimate American art form,” Harris said at the event at her official residence, according to a pool report. “It tells the stories that don’t make the news. But as the great Chuck D once said, rap is Black America’s CNN. And by telling the truth, hip-hop calls us to action.”

Harris is one of the prominent standard bearers for rallying Black voters in the Democratic Party. Her role could prove crucial in the coming year with some polls showing the reelection bid is losing some support among Black people and other communities of color.

“Every day, vice president Harris is fighting for the people,” Harvey Mason, Jr., CEO of The Recording Academy, said at the event. “She’s fighting for our people. Our vice president was rooted in hip-hop, and it’s essential to who she is.”

The event, the first of its kind at the vice president’s official residence where several hip-hop artists performed and politicians rubbed shoulders with entertainment industry executives, featured Harris speaking about the Biden administration commitment to the arts, especially hip-hop, in American life.

Harris’s policy areas, including voting rights and the border, have proven challenging given the Democratic agenda’s tough odds in Congress over the past two years.

Recently she has pushed back forcefully on Florida’s contentious educational standards that she says whitewash Black history — a chorus that some Republicans have also joined.

Professing a love of hip-hop on its 50th milestone, though, should be an easy political winner.

“This is a hip-hop household!” Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff said.