Lupe Fiasco Joins Public Forum, Explains Why He and DL Hughley Don’t See Eye to Eye on Voting
Rapper Lupe Fiasco made an impromptu visit to a Rap Sessions public forum on “Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama/Tea Party Era” in Philadelphia this past week, where panelists, moments before, had been debating his recent Twitter beef with comedian DL Hughley over the importance of voting.
The Chicago rapper joined the stage at the forum after seeing tweets about the discussion in progress while nearby in the city promoting his new album. He responded to DL Hughley’s claim that “when you vote or not vote, you are saying yes or no,” suggesting the rapper promotes political apathy.
Fiasco explained his belief that political engagement is bigger than the vote, and that during the Twitter exchange, he challenged DL Hughley to put his money where his mouth is and match funds to support a youth program to better the lives of rural and urban youth.
“Taking our community back is not going to happen without money,” Fiasco said reflecting on tweet discussion. “We don’t have to wait til November. We don’t have to wait to vote. Let’s put up $50,000 each right now,” he says he told Hughley.
He told the audience at Philadelphia’s historic Church of the Advocate Wednesday night that Hughley’s response was silence.
“It is difficult to recreate in words the energy in the sanctuary when Lupe – lured in by some live tweeting of panelists discussing his ‘tweef’ with DL Hughley and journalist Roland Martin over his politics – unexpectedly joined the Rap Sessions panel Wednesday night,” said James Peterson, director of Africana Studies at Lehigh University. Peterson, the panel’s moderator, focuses on Hip-Hop artists like Lupe Fiasco, Tupac Shakur, and Nas in his academic research.
“Say what you want to say about whether or not he chooses to vote for presidents,” Dr. Peterson continued. “But PLEASE don’t judge him until you’ve properly heard him out.”