Hip-Hop Community Rallying Behind Trump as Pivotal Election Divides Young Voters

Elgin Nelson

In a surprising development, Snoop Dogg threw his support behind Donald Trump as a pivotal election season looms, remarking, “He (Trump) has done nothing but great things for me.” Previously, Snoop Dogg was critical of Trump following his 2016 presidential victory.

The notable shift in the famous rapper’s attitude is attributed to his connection with Michael Harris, a co-founder of Death Row Records, which Snoop Dogg is associated with. Harris, who was serving a sentence for drug trafficking and attempted murder, was granted clemency by Trump in January 2021, earning the rapper’s gratitude.

“He’s never wronged me. He’s done nothing but good for me by pardoning Michael Harris,” Snoop Dogg stated.

The endorsement arrives amidst a trend of hip-hop industry figures backing the former president’s potential return, clashing with Joe Biden’s reelection campaign.

The hip-hop mogul is hardly alone as a growing number of hip-hop artists—and young Blacks— say they will lend their support to the former president in the 2024 White House bid. Internet celebrity and rapper Sexyy Red lauded Trump for his acts of clemency, such as pardoning Lil Wayne, and for rolling out stimulus payments during his term from 2017 to 2021.

“I’m a fan of Trump,” Sexyy Red expressed. “He’s got support in the neighborhoods. Initially, people doubted him, suspecting racism and sexist remarks. But when he began to take action for the African American community and distributed that stimulus money—oh, people’s perspectives changed. They’re saying, ‘We need Trump back.’

Benny The Butcher, a rapper from Buffalo, declared his vote for Trump in the next election despite arising from a city with Democratic leadership, “Trump’s got my vote in 2024,” he announced on X, once known as Twitter.

Even YG, who famously denounced Trump in his track “FDT,” has reconsidered, citing Trump-supported initiatives like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as pivotal to changing perceptions within the African American community.

A.D. Carson, Ph.D., known as both a performance artist and an associate professor of hip-hop at the University of Virginia, opines that Trump’s image as a non-conventional figure resonates as inspiring for those attracted to the culture of being an outlier.

“Trump’s perceived role as an outsider, which seems counterintuitive, entices hip-hop aficionados and the general populace alike,” Carson explained.

Currently, polls indicate a shift among young African American voters, predominantly consumers of hip-hop, away from Biden, stirring concern in Democratic heavyweights like Rep. Jim Clyburn.

“Do we want a leader who repeatedly exhibits misogyny and racism?” Clyburn questioned rhetorically.

It’s evident that youthful voters are distancing themselves from traditional leadership cues, opting instead for guidance from cultural icons, online personalities, community activists, and urban radio. 

Officials within the Biden administration have noted a growing disenchantment with the electoral choices the current generation faces, particularly the young, many of whom are first-time voters.

“It’s disheartening, as a first-time voter, to feel as though you’re caught between two flawed options,” lamented an HBCU undergrad.

In an attempt to regain lost ground, the Democratic National Committee has, since the 2022 midterms, bolstered efforts to engage African American voters through extensive outreach efforts including millions of calls and texts. The Biden campaign has also committed significant investment for targeted media efforts within African American communities. The effectiveness of these strategies in staving off a Trump resurgence remains to be seen as the election approaches.

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