2 Chainz is trying to let ex-cons know that they’ve still got the right to vote even though they’ve made some mistakes in the past.
The "Birthday Song" rapper dropped by "Don’t Sleep" to share some valuable information with people that feel like they no longer have a say in who becomes president. It’s long been thought that once you become a felon, you lose the right to vote.
That’s what 2 Chainz, who’s a repeat offender, believed. "I’m a felon, I’ve been one since I was 15 years old. My story is not different from another kid’s story," the rapper told TJ, stating that he thought he’d never cast a ballot in his life. "Basically felt like I didn’t have a voice anymore."
But he found out that he was wrong during a trip to the mall back in 2008, when President Barack Obama was first running for office. 2 Chainz was approached by a volunteer that revealed there is a way for him to be reinstated as a voter, and now he wants to get the word out. "I just feel like everyone deserves a second chance," he said.
"She just introduced this idea and gave me a pamphlet and research on how I can be reinstated," the rapper said of the volunteer, "how I can be counted again."
Shortly after that, 2 Chainz was among Americans that headed to the polls to cast his ballot. Even though he was in his thirties, it was the first time that he’d ever voted in a presidential election. He recognizes that had he never run into that one volunteer, he’d still believe that his voice doesn’t count. Now he feels its his duty to do the same for others in similar positions through the Respect My Vote campaign.
"It was educational. I feel like when we get new information—for me—it just empowers me," 2 Chainz told T.J. "I just felt like when someone introduced this idea that a mistake that I made couldn’t be held against me, after I did the research, I felt like, ‘Wow! Maybe I could go tell other dudes!’"
Now that he’s famous, thanks to songs like "I Luv Them Strippers" and "No Lie," 2 Chainz decided to use his celebrity for the good of the Black community. "I can use this platform, and I can get out and I can talk to people, you know? I have shows everywhere," he said. "Maybe I can get out and do radio and inform the community on what they need to do to just get their voice and be heard."