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Russell Simmon's Hip Hop Summit
March 29, 2004

Rusell Simmon’s Hip Hop Summit Hit Chicago
Words By: Nia Beckwith

In a profound effort to attract voters for the 2004 presidential bid, Russell Simmon's Hip-Hop Summit Action Network has registered 30,000 voters in the Midwest with help from some of today’s hottest Hip-Hop’s artists.

Artists like Kanye West, Twista, Common, Ludacris, Loon, Bizzy Bone, Crooked I, Jim Jones from the Diplomats and many more participated in a discussion panel this past Saturday in Chicago at the UIC Pavillion. The summit drew thousands of fans discussing topics ranging from hip-hop artists promoting presidential candidates to police brutality. In a period of six weeks leading up to this event, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network's Hip-Hop Team Vote project, working in partnership with local grass roots organizations, was able to register over 30,000 new young voters, between the ages of 18 and 35, from the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio and Indiana.

"It's time for all of us to stand up and show the power of our votes so that the interests of our communities gets represented," said Ludacris."

Kanye West and Twista graced the crowd with a small performance of "Over Night Celebrity." Def Poetry Jam poets Malik Yussef and Red Storm gave spoken word pieces. And George Daniels, founder of Chicago's famous music store, George's Music Room was honored with a national achievement award.

“You have to put something forward to get something out of life”, Russell Simmons told the audience. Now what The Hip Hop Summit Action Network is working hard to get people registered, it’s now up to today’s urban black youth to exercise their right to vote.

The Chicago Hip-Hop Summit was sponsored by Clear Channel FM station 107.5 WGCI, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., ICEE Records, Clear Channel Entertainment and a Chicagoland Mercedes Benz dealership.


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