Stay woke

Dave East. Photo by Leon Laing.

What better way to encourage the youth to vote than through music? On the heels of the midterm elections, Clea Productions held Young Gets It Done at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. The voting rally included appearances by LGP Qua, Ari Lennox, Bri Stevens, Nephew, G Herbo, Scottie Beam, Gia Peppers, Wallo267, DJ Flow and DJ Aktive. I chopped it up with some of these celebrities backstage at the event on Oct. 27.

Dave East
Harlem-based rapper Dave East, 30, dropped his Beloved album with Styles P this year. Ladies admire East’s handsomeness, and dudes appreciate his traditional, lyrical rap style. Previously, East attended Towson University in Towson, Maryland.

Why did you decide to be part of this voting rally?

Dave East: It’s always dope to come back out here. I know where I was, at that time in my life, and where I’m at now – it’s night and day. To see how far I came and to be able to come back and perform at these schools, it’s super dope. As you get older, you realize you do have a voice. And your voice can be heard. That’s why I really support all of these types of events because I know how I felt at 18, 19. I didn’t really care about nothing that was going on as far as voting. So to see the youth even in tune and be excited to go vote is super dope.

With his conscious and fiery rap bars, Philadelphia based-LGP Qua, 18, has become a viral sensation.

By rapping over beats such as “Self Destruction” and “Paid in Full,” you pay homage to old-school hip-hop. How can others help to bridge the generation gap between rappers?

LGP Qua: If you don’t know your past, you’re not gonna have a future. Always know your history.

Scottie Beam
Scottie Beam, 28, hails from the Bronx. She’s a radio personality, and she cohosts Revolt’s State of the Culture.

Why is important to vote?
Scottie Beam: Voting should be a priority. It should be something people are passionate about. You should learn how to vote and know why we’re voting and who we’re voting for … We’re giving people control over our lives …  That’s why things like this, the pep rally, is super important because we need to inform as many people as we can.

How did you audition for State of the Culture?

Scottie Beam: Diddy liked me, and Joe liked me. I tried out like everyone else. I did a few tryouts. Eventually, I made it.

Ari Lennox
Like Sza, neo-soul singer/songwriter Ari Lennox, 27, oozes with coolness, and she’s the first lady of her record label (Dreamville Records). She reps Washington, D.C.

Your boss J. Cole has participated in protest marches and other types of activism, so how important was it for you to attend today’s event?

Ari Lennox: So important cause I just love to be around beautiful black people, especially black people who care about our country.

I think you’re an Erykah Badu protégé.

Ari Lennox: She has legendary music. I grew up listening to her.

After posting his dance to Drake’s “In My Feelings” on Instagram, Shiggy’s dance challenge became an internet craze. Shiggy, 25, is a NYC-based social media comedian.

You’ve appeared in videos for Drake’s “In My Feelings” and Lil Wayne’s “Uproar.” What’s your next video appearance?

Shiggy: I don’t know, man. You never know …

Click here to see more photos of the event on Instagram.

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