Quavo wears a black button down shirt and red tuxedo at the 2020 GRAMMYs; Kanye West looks annoyed wearing a white t-shirt and gold chain; Killer Mike wears headphones and sits in front of a mic at Sirius XM.
Source: Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Scott Dudelson/FilmMagic; Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Beats and Ballots: 6 Rappers Who Ventured Into Politics Over the Years

Rap and politics have often had a complex relationship, however, there are rappers who have proven that the two career paths can co-exist.


Dec. 13 2023, Published 5:41 p.m. ET

Over the years, many artists have used their art form to leverage their influence and impact politically charged social justice issues.

Rappers, particularly, have used their platforms as tools to speak out against injustice or hone in on issues that they are passionate about — including but not limited to gun laws, education, and police brutality.

Here are some notable rappers who have dabbled in politics or engaged in active civic action.


quavo politics
Source: Instagram/@quavohuncho

Quavo of The Migos at the White House.

Quavo became a well-known figure in rap as a member of the renowned group The Migos.

Following the untimely passing of Takeoff —his nephew and former group member who was a victim of gun violence — Quavo channeled his pain into advocacy.

Earlier this year, he went to Capitol Hill to advocate against gun violence laws and had a chance to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss the impact of gun violence on Black communities.

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Killer Mike

Throughout his career, Killer Mike has made it a point to be actively involved in creating change in the Black community.

Known for his poignant and thought-provoking lyrics, the rapper, born Michael Santiago Render, advocates for civic change — both inside of the booth — by speaking up about inequity, police brutality, and systems of oppression.

Kanye "Ye" West

Few artists have caused as much controversy as Kanye West has.

Whether it is through his music, interviews, or artistic projects, the outspoken Chicagoan has always been intentional about sharing his thoughts.

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The "Good Life" rapper announced that he would be running for President in 2020 and again in 2022 under his own party — the Birthday Party.

But it seems like those plans are now a thing of the past, as the rapper is no longer running for office.

Lupe Fiasco

Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, who is known professionally as Lupe Fiasco, has carved a niche for himself not only as a brilliant lyricist with a sharp mind but also as an artist who is not afraid to speak up for the greater good.

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In the past, the rapper has not held back in boldly speaking up about social justice issues that hinge on the effects of poverty as well as the aftermath of violence and political corruption on marginalized communities. No wonder the man was tapped to teach at MIT!

Chance the Rapper

Beyond his happy-go-lucky rhymes and independent approach to music, Chance the Rapper is a forward-thinking figure in fighting social justice and community empowerment.

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The Chicago native has adopted a multifaceted approach to advocacy and has frequently advocated for quality access to education, mental health wellness resources, and social justice. He also has a nonprofit organization called SocialWorks that is committed to these causes.

Cardi B

Although she has not run for political office, Cardi B has used her platform to raise awareness about voting and voter's rights over the years.

During President Joe Biden's presidential campaign, she did a sit-down interview via Zoom with the then-presidential aspirant to discuss important issues like the economy as well as the gaping racial divide.

The Bronx native has also been vocal about inflation and other pressing civic issues.

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