St. Louis was the site of a hip-hop road show on Friday night — but it wasn’t a concert. Instead, it was the St. Louis Hip-Hop Summit, which organizer Russell Simmons and his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network are calling their most successful event yet to register new voters.
According to HSAN, the St. Louis Hip-Hop Summit drew an estimated 9,000 people on Friday, 98 percent of whom said they would vote in this year’s election. The organization also said that in the last several months, it has registered about 114,000 new voters in Missouri, a crucial swing state, with the help of the St. Louis and Kansas City chapters of the NAACP.
St. Louis native Nelly hosted the event, speaking to fans about the importance of participating in this November’s presidential election.
“I had the courage not to listen to those who tried to deter me from staying in school and graduating,” he said. “Today, we are here to help you learn courage to try and make a change in your lives.”
Other stars who came out included Jadakiss, R&B singer Anthony Hamilton, Reverend Run, Loon, D12’s Bizarre and Terror Squad’s Remy Martin. HSAN President/CEO Dr. Benjamin Chavis and veteran MC Doug E. Fresh moderated the Summit.
Russell Simmons and his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network have been staging local conferences across the country with the intention of rallying the hip-hop generation to vote in this year’s presidential elections.