By Marc-Olivier Drouin |Staff Writer|
Nashville electro-rapper Chancellor Warhol performed at the Santos Manuel Student Union last Tuesday in association with the Rock the Vote organization to inform students about the importance of the upcoming election.
A small crowd was gathered for the first part of the event where director of student leadership and development, Mark Hartley, asked Warhol a couple of questions in regards to the 2012 election.
In his answers, the Tennessee electro-rapper emphasized the importance of arts, culture and education. He said that if he were president, he would encourage young people to travel in order to discover new culture and get inspired by other countries.
After the interview, Warhol kicked off his performance in front of the few students.
“The small crowd shows the lack of enthusiasm among the youth voters,” said one of the participants.
The rapper, visibly unaffected by the nearly empty room, gave an energetic performance. Singing electro-rap songs from his three albums: Playlist for Edie, Factory and Japanese Lunchbox – while bouncing across the crowd.
Despite minor, but frequent sound problems, the tiny audience enjoyed the performance and the rapper’s truly unique music style. As a Rock the Vote featured artist, last Tuesday was the fifth performance that Warhol did for the organization.
Rock the Vote is a non-partisan and non-profit organization that uses popular culture and music to build the political power of young people.
Warhol believes that as an artist, one of his jobs is to influence people to make good decisions in order to make a better world. He also said the arts are in the background of political leaders’ minds during the 2012 election.
He hopes that in a couple of years, politicians would consider arts and culture in their debates like in other countries.
The Rock the Vote event was also a great place to hear the students opinions about the upcoming election. Many of them seem to think that their vote will not make any difference.
A student said the 2008 election was much more interesting with Obama’s platform which emphasized hope and change. “Truth be told, there is no excitement about this election,” said one of the participants.
There was also a voter registration table at the event. According to a person that was in charge of the registration, only a few people filled out the precious piece of paper – they did not reach their expectations.
When asked about the pertinence of such an organization, student Melissandre Compere said, “Artists should not influence your political decisions. People must be aware of the political stakes and make their own decision.”
Compere might be right, but Rock the Vote’s mission is to incite young people to register and vote with the help of the arts. They do not promote any political parties or ideas.
With the election a couple of weeks away, Rock the Vote is presently traveling across the United States to influence young people to exercise their right to vote. In California, you have until Oct. 22 to register.