Rap music icon Sean Combs issued a stern public warning Wednesday to the Democratic Party and its presumptive 2020 presidential nominee, Joe Biden, regarding the black vote.
Appearing last week on British model Naomi Campbell’s YouTube show “No Filter with Naomi,” Combs, better known by the stage name P. Diddy, leveled allegations that the black vote in America has consistently been “taken for granted” throughout history by those who have benefited from it most: Democrats.
This November, things needed to be different. If Combs is going to vote Democratic this time around, the rapper said, a clear and honest commitment will have to be made to the black community by left-wing politicians.
Otherwise, he intended to “hold the vote hostage.”
“The black vote is not going to be for free,” Combs said in a clip that he posted to Instagram on Tuesday. “We’re going to have to see some promises, you know. What are we getting in return for our vote? Nothing has changed for black America.
“In order for us to vote for Biden, we can’t be taken for granted like we always are because we’re supposed to be Democrats or because people are afraid of [President Donald] Trump. It’s whoever is going to take care of our community. Whoever wants to make a deal, it’s business at this point,” Combs said.
“We can’t trust politicians,” the rapper continued.
“So, we want to know very clearly, just like Trump made it very clear that he wanted to build a wall, Biden needs to make it clear that he is going to change the lives and quality of life of black and brown people, or else he can’t get the vote.”
“I will hold the vote hostage if I have to,” he added.
The statement received a mixed response from fans and fellow entertainers.
While a great many seemed to applaud Combs in the comments section for his willingness to expect more from politicians desperately seeking the black vote, others were less supportive, and far less kind, alleging the rapper was no different than those who intended to vote for the incumbent president.
Combs was quick to defend his remarks, however, posting a Twitter screen shot which showed former Bernie Sanders campaign official Tezlyn Figaro explaining the statement was “NOT an endorsement for Trump,” but a demand for stronger political representation of the black community.
“To whom it may concern it’s called BLACK LEVERAGE,” the rapper wrote in the comments of his original post.
Combs has been known to speak out regarding the minority vote throughout his lengthy career as a musician and public figure.
According to People, Combs’ attempts to move the dial on voting in the black community began as early as 2004, when the rapper branched out into politics with his Citizen Change campaign.
Combs encouraged widespread engagement in that year’s presidential election between incumbent Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry, championing the slogan “Vote or Die” as his newly founded organization worked to get young people and members of minority communities registered to vote.
The rapper went on to appear at a 2008 get-out-the-vote rally for Barack Obama in Los Angeles.
By 2016, however, Combs would tell CNN he felt the black community had gained little ground during the Obama administration, and had been “shortchanged” by the eight-year Obama presidency.
He did not go public with a presidential endorsement that year, despite claiming Trump was a friend of his.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.