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AUDIO: 84-Year-Old Congressman Courts Youth Vote With Rap Song

Memo Pad Politics

AUDIO: 84-Year-Old Congressman Courts Youth Vote With Rap Song


Charlie Rangel, the 84-year-old congressman from Harlem who will face one of the toughest fights of his political career in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in New York’s 13th congressional district, has found a novel new way to reach out to young voters. It really has to be heard to be believed.

As Olivia Nuzzi reports in The Daily Beast, on Saturday the Rangel campaign uploaded “Vote for Rangel” — a rap by Fireboy LD, a Rangel supporter — to YouTube.

The song alternates between exhorting Harlemites to support the 22-term incumbent (“If you gon’ vote, you gon’ vote for the Rangel. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie Rangel”) and describing Rangel’s biography.

“You know Charlie — he was born in Harlem. Got a Purple Heart and Bronze Star—earned them in the army,” Fireboy LD raps. “Got orders and he execute, graduated NYU — and that was 1957. Then he went to St. John’s and became a legal weapon.”

It’s kind of amazing.

Rangel will face state Senator Adriano Espaillat in Tuesday’s primary. He holds a comfortable lead in the polls, although the expected low turnout means that it’s still anyone’s race.

UPDATE: Rangel isn’t the only candidate with an election-day music video. Michael Walrond, a Harlem-based pastor who is running third behind Rangel and Espaillat, now has an theme song of his own:

The ball’s in your court, Senator Espaillat.

Photo: Talk Radio News Service via Flickr

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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