Would You Vote For Hillary Clinton?
14 artists weigh in on the presidential frontrunner and music’s relationship with the 2016 election.
This post will be updated throughout the 2016 election season.
Tegan Quin, of Tegan and Sara
"I think we're both pro-Hillary. As Canadians, there's an enormous amount of what Bernie talks about that resonates with us, but I do feel that Hillary is inevitable. We actually met President Bill Clinton couple years ago in Toronto — we did an event for him. When he walked up, he shook our hands, gave us hugs, and then he was like, "I'm so excited to meet you guys, my wife and I love Grey's Anatomy, and ‘Where Does the Good Go’ is our favorite song." After that, he thanked us for all the work we done in the LGBT community. There's something to be said for the experience, and something to be said for the Clintons themselves. I'm very intrigued to see what happens. We've always picked whoever's the Democratic candidate. You guys need to get it together down here. We're watching with deep fascination, and anticipation." (May 2016)
"No comment. I'm an artist, I don't know about that stuff. The whole spokesperson—my prayers go out to all the family's of people that passed, and everything that going on in Baltimore. Even in my city, Paterson, New Jersey, we're having a lot of problems of our own, I just choose not to be that person because I don't want people looking at me as a role model, and as a spokesperson for my city. I don't want people to be coming to me for advice, because I got my own problems and I have my own son and daughter to take care of. I got my family to support, and I'm still doing what I got to do to get myself right. To speak upon somebody else's problems that I don't know anything about? I think that's foolish for other people to do that as well. I don't understand how you can speak to this man's family, and nothing like that ever happen to you. How can y'all relate? How can you really say I feel for you if you don't know?
"To me, personally, and I know people are going to criticize this, but I don't really see why I should vote. When Obama came out, that's the only reason why I felt like I should vote. I speak for anybody that would lie and say they did their research, the black guy was running and I voted for the black guy. That's just how it went. Now, I don't see no reason why I should vote." (May 2015)
"Yeah, probably, I would vote for Hillary, if I would vote. But at this point I don’t know enough the politicians at the moment to really give a proper opinion, you know what I’m saying. But I just feel like, because she’s a woman—women have empathy towards certain situations that may offer a great position in power." (March 2015)
Waka Flocka Flame
"Yes, because why not? She’s a Clinton, and that means a lot. I appreciated Bill Clinton and I think she can follow him."(April 2015)
"I mean, yeah. I think ladies need to step up. I will vote and ladies should be allowed in the free masons." (April 2015)
"It depends on what she got to offer, just like any other person who wants to be president. I ain't really have no time, but I'll definitely read up on it and I'll vote." (April 2015)
"I can’t vote, I’m a felon. But they’re gonna give it to Jeb Bush, they’re gonna bring it back to Bush. I’m a conspiracy theorist and that’s my thing. Don’t be surprised when Jeb Bush wins, because they have to bring it back to the Bush’s. Obama did what he did, he put the mask on and still did the behind-the-scenes BS that Bush started, he continued it. The people love him, and I hope the government don’t rock me or anything, but now it’s going back to the Bush’s. That’s what it is." (June 2015)
"I'm not voting for anyone. I don't believe in that shit. No disrespect. My parents are both Democrats, they vote, they'll be upset that I said that. They're very political people. My mom's always been serious into politics and I think it turned me off a little bit. I don't really believe in any of it, nothing changes for me. I still don't have health insurance, I'm still fending for myself. Obama being a black man doesn't mean that things will get better for black people. Because Hillary's a woman, it doesn’t mean things are going to get better for women. I don't dislike her, I'm just indifferent in terms of politics. Low key, my best way of participating is living the way that I feel is a positive light and sharing it with real people that I know and just vibing and dealing. I talk about politics and I care about them, but I just don't believe that they matter.
"I think change comes from a human body. The connection between a person and another person. If you lack compassion, Hillary Clinton being president doesn't mean anything. We're desensitized as a nation—if you think a women president is gonna like, sensitize us some more. If anything it's just going to pick out the ugly in everyone as they shout, like, 'Look at this women, this crazy bitch is president.' It's just going to make everyone look hideous. I'd rather just focus on the things that matter. A president is just a figurehead anyway." (April 2015)
"Would I vote Hillary Clinton for president? No comment." (March 2015)
"I don't really know anything about politics, so I couldn't even say. But I mean, Hillary seems chill. She does! I don't know what she stands for but she seems chill. But this will be my first time voting, so I'll actually pay attention. I was mad last time because the voting was November 6 and I turned 18 on November 7. So this time I'm really happy." (February 2015)
HARMONY: "I don't want to talk politics because I'll just get controversial. I really will."
CLEO: "Yeah, let's not." (March 2015)
"I'm not gonna tell you who I want to vote for. I just want somebody that's for the people, though. Somebody that has the people in mind. Because you know everybody says that shit before it's time for them to get in office, but I'm voting for the person for the people." (March 2015)
"Being young I never really looked at Hillary. I’m getting more experienced now, I’m 20, I’m reading more books. Now that you told me about her I’m gonna go look into her. I like that she’s a Democrat. I’d vote for her because she’s a Democrat. They help the poor, so I’m all about that." (March 2015)
"I've got to do more research on Hillary Clinton. I can't just say, 'Oh yeah, I'd vote for Hillary Clinton' because she's a woman. I would definitely vote for her over a Republican, but I still want to know her stance. I'm not sitting here saying I'm going to find out everything about Hillary Clinton, but certain things that apply to my life, I gotta learn more about.
"I think it's very dope that she's running for President. It's crazy. Isn't that crazy? I think she'll be really smart about her campaign because she knows who her target audience is going to be. I think she's gonna be really smart about it. I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary Clinton and Beyoncé started hanging out." (April 2015)
On Thursday, while Fox News was hosting the first major Republican debate of the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton took a selfie with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Friday morning, MTV explained the debate on Twitter with a Taylor Swift metaphor.
The 2016 election season will have more memes and more social media mentions than any previous contest; for many readers of The FADER, it will be a first opportunity to vote. Since February, we’ve been asking artists whether or not they’d consider voting for Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. The answers so far illuminate not just opinions about Clinton, but young America’s varying levels of interest in politics and their overall relationship to the voting process.
Reporting by Duncan Cooper, Zara Golden, Patrick McDermott, Ruth Saxelby, Matthew Trammell