Common encourages N.C. A&T students to ‘finish the job’ and vote

Jarod Hamilton & Lauren Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief & Managing Editor

Grammy award-winning rapper and activist Common, played basketball in the gym of the Hayes-Taylor Memorial YMCA, underscoring the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential election. 

The “GO” rapper played a game of “VOTE,” a 2020 variant on the popular basketball game “HORSE,” and to discuss the stakes of the upcoming election with young community members.

Common’s appearance comes just five days after his socially-distanced show in Philadelphia to encourage residents to vote in the general election. 

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3, 2020 and received no later than Thursday, Nov. 12 in order to be counted  or can be returned on Nov. 3 by 5 p.m. The early voting deadline is quickly approaching on Oct. 31. 

North Carolina voters could have a lot of sway in the upcoming election, the often swing state could change the course of the national election if former Vice president Joe Biden is able to secure a win here. 

As the campaign trial continues many notable faces have made appearances including Joe Biden, Doug Emhoff and Kamala Harris.

When asked about the biggest difference between his [Common’s] generation as first time voters and the current generation of first time voters, Common noted that the current generation is more invested in voting.

“I think you guys are more informed, you guys have a more concentrated charge,” the Chicago native said. “It has not happened in my lifetime where I have seen the galvanizing of young people with the focus [to vote] the way we saw this year. What I am feeling coming from this generation is a focus, a charge and an unstoppable force in a way that I think is so beautiful I am enthused and motivated by it.” 

Common said that the momentum from protesting and people voicing their opinions on social media has to come to the polls. 

“That charge that we got, all the times we tweet and repost pictures on Instagram of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery or George Floyd and others, we are not completing the movement if we do not vote,” Common said.

The rapper stated that it is important that he uses his platform to encourage people to be engaged.

“I think when you have a microphone you have to use it for something powerful,” Common said. “Sometimes, it is for entertainment but sometimes it is going to be like ‘this is what is going on, let me go ahead and share this light with you on this topic.” 

Common’s final message to the youth was to finish the job and vote. 

“Y’all have sparked the elders, y’all have sparked my generation, please complete the movement, Common said. “Finish the job by going out and voting and voting does not mean you stop there but voting has to be the next step.”