Daveed Diggs – known both for his acting in the musical Hamilton and his rapping in the group Clipping – urged voters to head to the polls with a series of intricate rhymes about the historical significance of casting a ballot. “Let’s just spit some bars about voting,” Diggs told Jimmy Fallon Monday night on The Tonight Show.
Diggs requested the help of the Roots’ Black Thought – whom he called “one of the greatest rappers in the world” – in the hip-hop voting PSA. “Right or left, we up the creek without a paddle, look at the boat we in,” Black Thought rapped. “The devil screaming, ‘Vote me in,’ it’s dystopian … You’ll find me at the polls the moment that it’s opening.”
Diggs’ verse touched on the discriminatory history of U.S. voting laws. “The right to vote ain’t always been given to every citizen/ Not until 1920 did it include any women/ And not until 1965 if you exhibit melanin,” he rapped. “And even now they try to stop us: when they tellin’ us lies about deadlines … and all this voter registration miseducation – I’ll be damned if after all that blood and fighting for the right to be counted, I don’t get out my bed and fill out that ballot.”
Diggs is one of many musicians who has encouraged voting in recent weeks: that group also includes Lady Gaga, Jay Z, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Greg Allman, Kings of Leon and more. Late night hosts like Conan O’Brien and Stephen Colbert urged citizens to exercise their right to vote as well.
Black Thought explained the importance of the act of voting in simple terms on Monday night: “You got the power to change the world: make your voice heard.”