WASHINGTON ― Rock the Vote celebrated its 25th anniversary last week with a free concert at the capital’s historic Black Cat Nightclub.
Among those in attendance were: up-and-coming D.C. rapper Lightshow, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run DMC, the two current members of 2 Live Crew, Christopher “Fresh Kid Ice” Wong Won and Mark “Brother Marquis” Ross, and I Heart Media President John Sykes, who co-founded Rock The Vote and MTV/VH1.
The Huffington Post caught up with these musical titans to get their take on the first 25 years of Rock the Vote and why the organization is still relevant.
McDaniels called for individuals to empower themselves by embracing their right to vote. Piggybacking on his sentiments, the members of 2 Live Crew said we should also expand voting rights to combat what they see as rampant disenfranchisement of underserved communities.
John Sykes, one of the co-founders of Rock the Vote and the President of IHeartMedia, joined these calls to action. He said even in the age of smartphones, musicians and the media at large still have a responsibility to try and get more 18 to 34 year olds into the voting booths.
MC Lightshow -- the only person we spoke to who is actually in the 18 to 34 demographic -- broke it down simply: “If you know yourself and you know your community, and you understand, then you’ll know who to vote for. You’ll see who sees things the way you do.”
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