A Richmond native says he’s running for president and using hip hop music as his platform to send messages to voters, starting with a song slamming Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Underground artist Alpha Leo, who was born 35 years ago as Deon Jenkins, has filed with the Federal Elections Committee for 2016 and is vying for the Democratic nomination under the campaign name “HipHop for President.” He is one of more than 1,100 candidates who filed a Statement of Candidacy with the FEC.
In blacknews.com, the rapper said he is using hip hop as “a platform to speak to college students, the hip hop generation and savvy progressive voters about getting involved.”
Accompanying the campaign launch was the release of a song dissing Trump. The track, called Giant Slayer, includes the lyrics, “America wants jobs and a raise after they’re hired/What they don’t want is a snob who coined the phrase, ‘You’re fired.'”
The song is from the forthcoming album, David and Goliath 2: The Paradigm Shift. The artist, who wants to be known by his campaign name HipHop for President, says the Goliath in the album title refers to Trump and what he represents.
The rapper says Trump has emerged as a dominant voice in the U.S., but believes the Republican candidate doesn’t represent the values of most Americans and is simply the loudest in the room. Through his music, Alpha Leo hopes to speak for the 99-percent.
“I’m not a politician; I’m trying to get this message out,” he told us Tuesday. “It seems like we’ve taken a step backward as far as racism, inequality, unemployment, gentrification. I’m going to be the only one talking about issues that really relate to the average citizen. Even if I don’t win, I hope to win attention for voices that get overlooked. And that’s how hip hop began. They were voices that were overlooked, but found a way to be heard.”
Alpha Leo was raised in Richmond and currently lives in Vallejo. The artist is not new to stirring the pot through his music. He raised eyebrows last year with the song, “Jesus was Black.” He’s been rapping since 13.