Vote for Miss Angela, the rap song, available at www.angelasos06.com, has been playing on radio stations and personal computers across the nation after a recent explosion of interest. What is the idea behind a 13 year old rapping for Angela Moore, Georgias potentially first Black Secretary of State? What controversy has resulted?
We had naysayers who tell me I should take it off my site, that I should be ashamed, to put something up there that shows ethnicity, Angela Moore said. Then Id better take my picture down too because Im ethnic as well.
Atlanta Progressive News has interviewed both Miss Angela and her young rapper, Pootah, to explore the matter.
The rap song has existed for several months, but was released by the campaign several weeks ago. The song is both catchy and campy. Suddenly, in recent days, the mainstream media has taken notice, with a flurry of radio and newspaper interviews, Angela Moore, who says she is foxy-forty-something, told Atlanta Progressive News.
Young rapper Pootah said he was excited about empowering youth to be politically engaged, adding the most concerning issue to him is gay marriage. People dont need to be with the same sex. They need to be with the opposite sex, Keenan Mathews, aka Pootah, 13, said.
Angela Moore said Pootahs comments did not represent her political platform, adding that if she were a legislator [shes not; shes running for Secretary of State], she would actually support gay marriage.
Meanwhile, political gossip blog Wonkette took note of the rap, which they had good things to say about, while pointing out a grammatical error on Moores website, where a card advertisement says Moore will work to protect disenfranchisement of voters.
Angela Moore said it is possible someone hacked into her campaign website, adding the website was hacked into two weeks ago when someone created email addresses from it and started sending spam emails from it. The version on the website is completely different from what was in print and was approved by her campaign staff, she said.
>But back to the rap.
Mathews met Moore when he performed at the Georgia Railroad Depot. She wanted me to do a rap. I asked my mom what was the importance of voting. She gave me some ideas. I went on the computer, and did research, he said.
I found out that people wanted to be treated equally, he said.
I went to my producer and we went in the studio and did Vote for Miss Angela.
This is my first time, being involved in politics, he said. Im getting a lot of attention for being on a political site.
I like politicians because its dealing with the world issues. Im learning it as I go."
When you first see her, you can tell shes someone special and I knew the first time I saw her, this is really big for the first Black Secretary of State, Mathews said.
Im an entertainer as well. A positive entertainer. People can take my lead, they can leave the negativity along gangs, streets, and violence. I want to bring the positivity back to where it used to be in the old days, Mathews said.
I enjoyed myself a lot and I enjoyed doing the rap for Miss Angela at the Democratic Party, Mathews said. He performed at the Dekalb Democratic Party meeting last month; some people reportedly didnt know how to react, when other candidates made speeches.
Mathews is an honor roll student at Lithonia Middle School in 8th grade, he said; however, he doesnt let his music career get in the way of his education. When Im at school its all about school. I separate it out because education comes first.
I got a lot of response because I be doing the rap for her; Ive been traveling with her. From magazines to newspapers, the AJC will be here tomorrow to do a write up on me about the rap, Mathews said.
I have a Fruity Loop program on my computer where I could do the beat, and I played around with different instruments, and I had the help of one of my producers, he said.
Im concerned, my main topic is about, gay marriages, Mathews said.
Youve got to remember hes 13. Those are the issues that hes seeing on the news everyday. He probably sees his Dad sitting there [making comments], Angela Moore clarified in one of several phone interviews.
Angela Moore explained why she personally is against gay marriage based on her religious upbringing, but said that if she were in the position of a legislator, she would support gay marriage and would oppose a ban on gay marriage in Georgia.
Im very hopeful Georgia Equality will endorse me. I do believe in the fact of equal partnerships. If you want to live with someone you should be able to have equal benefits, Moore said.
You have people who are Christian, millions of them who are going to believe that marriage is defined by the Bible. I think what the law should allow is for equal partnership. That will give them the license that they need to be equal partners. So they can share, say yes or no if a person is on life support, Moore said.
I dont see what the problem is, when you really think about it, what difference does it make? If you want this person to be your significant other, who the hell cares? If I were a legislator, I would vote to allow anyone who decides they are going to be married to each other, to share benefits, Moore said.
What are they supposed to do? Sneak around? This is how marriages are destroyed in the first place. Theyre wasting time in the House, in the Senate. And time and energy. When the gay people are here. I dont see why I shouldnt [support gay marriage]. Why should it be illegal to be married? Moore said.
Moore recalled her first meeting with Mathews. His mom introduced me to him, and he said he wanted to, write a rap, she said. Why dont you do a vote or die rap for me? You never think that they would do that. We pretty much had not even thought it any more. He shows up one day and he says Miss Angela Ive done a song for you.
And I was just elated, Moore said.
I was excited at his age that he would have the forethought to have wrote something such as that, Moore said.
At first, it seemed, Its not something in line with the Secretary of State, Moore said, but then I started to think, he must be listed with the Secretary of State, and I looked him up and there they were. I asked how is his business structured? They have the studio as a corporation and the record label as an LLC. He has people he pays. And the lawyer pays him, hes the trustee, Moore said.
Hes trying very hard to get his music out there, travling across the US, Moore said. He is a business and he is the new age of entrepreneur.
Its not vote or die, it really is the fact that you either exercise the right to vote or we perish as a community, Moore said.
Moore had a lot to say about the political empowerment of youth.
Most kids his age dont, get involved in politics, Moore said. If they are privy enough to understand the premise of the elections process period, to do something like this, then they have entered into an adult world, and by the time theyre 18, theyre running to the polls to exercise their right to vote.
Its important to talk about them with our kids. Not just to use them as window dressing."
"They can come and be a page during the day [in the state legislature]. Take them down there and introduce them to the elected officials.
I think its admirable this young man has stepped into a realm that is outside his comfort zone, Moore said.
Its all about teaching our youth early.... Mock voting in the home... Well you couldve had chocolate instead of candy canes, well you didnt vote.
Another point of the rap, Moore said, was to show some diversity, to show some culture.
The Secretary of State does indulge in culture. Shes licensing boxers and rappers and jazz and blues artists and she does doctors and dentists and they are performers as well, Moore said, adding they perform a service for people.
The response overall has been really great, Moore said.
However, she said, as mentioned earlier, that there have been some naysayers.
One email read to Atlanta Progressive News over the phone called the rap a disappointing, stereotypical, marketing ploy... [that] targets young African Americans in a stereotypical manner.
I urge you to run on your experience. I will not vote or die for you, the email said.
I stand by the young man who presented his [music] to me... Moore said. I have to show diversity at the office of the Secretary of State. And so, mainstream media wants to see someone that is boring and not have dimensions. The ones who accomplish the most are the ones who are a little out of the box.
A boring candidate is what theyre [the media are] used to. Someone thats bland, very conservative, someone thats a stuffed shirt. Theyre not used to someone who is passionate and excited. In order for you to love what you do, you have to love the people youre going to serve.
About the author:
Matthew Cardinale is the News Editor of Atlanta Progressive News and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article may be reprinted in full at no cost where Atlanta Progressive News is credited.