I’ll stand for what’s right
I’ll use all my might
I’ll make a difference in this world we live in
I’ll vote for what’s right
I’ll lay down my life
- lyrics from “Vote 4 Justice”
Washington, DC – When Andre Todd Hobson aka “Champ” originally penned the lyrics for The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Black Youth Vote (BYV!) iThink 2012 campaign, he didn’t know how soon his lyrics would literally become his life. The 19-year-old Richmond, VA native will report to basic training for the U.S. Army on July 31, just a week after hitting the studio to lay his tracks for the song. He can only hope that his recording of “Vote 4 Justice” will move his peers to make a difference in the upcoming presidential election. He will make a difference by serving in the Army to protect the country and our democratic process.
Hobson’s rendition of “Vote 4 Justice” is a stirring rap-laced track that evokes the essence of the times we live in. A gripping call for action, the song is a battle cry to a younger generation, beckoning them to utilize and not squander their power to vote. William Kellibrew IV, deputy director and national victims advocate for the National Coalition, empowers the hook with his compelling vocal ability.
“Andre did an excellent job of translating our message into hip-hop vernacular,” said Jessica Brown, national field coordinator, BYV!. “We are working hard to educate our young people on the connection between voting and laws like ‘Stand Your Ground.’ Everyone wants justice for Trayvon Martin and others like him, but young people have to realize that those laws were voted in. We have to vote those laws out and keep voting so they don’t pass anymore laws that are not in our interest.”
Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition adds, “Many of the laws that disenfranchise voters disproportionately affect Black men so, with the help of funders like Open Society Foundations, we recruited and trained young black men to educate their peers about the new voter ID laws and to work at the polls. I commend Andre for his leadership in using his creative skills to get our message out. We are proud and appreciative of his decision to serve our country. We wish him well.”
BYV’s iThink 2012 campaign is in full gear training, educating, and making sure young adults register to vote, verify their status, obtain proper identification, and vote on Election Day. BYV! programs include the Black Male Initiative, a civic leadership development program; and Foot Soldiers for Democracy co-convened with Common Cause. BYV! Foot Soldiers are a cadre of young people trained to serve as poll workers and monitors in their local communities. BYV! is also partnered with the Cost of Freedom Project to distribute a voter ID App to quickly provide citizens with information on voter ID requirements for all 50 states and how to apply for a photo ID which they must show in order to vote.
BYV! is a national grassroots organization committed to increasing political and civic engagement among black youth and training young leaders. Andre Todd Hobson is a prime example of one such leader. His song, “Vote 4 Justice” will become the legacy of a young man committed to change and willing to pay the “Cost of Freedom”.
Download Vote4Justice at: www.ncbcp.org, follow on Twitter @blackyouthvote, Andre’s Twitter – @championmusicc. For BYV! updates text Vote4Justice to 69302.
Vote 4 Justice by Andre Hobson featuring William Kellibrew IV – Black Youth Vote!