First the Hip-Hop Vote; Now the First Hip-Hop Ball

Star-Studded Lineup Set to Celebrate Obama’s Victory

The Hip Hop Summit Action Network played a large rolein bringing in the “hip hop vote,” and now that Obamahas won the presidency, it’s time to celebrate.

Hip Hop acts and icons Russell Simmons, LL Cool J,Young Jeezy, T.I., Bow Wow, and MC Lyte are to co-hostthe first ever Hip Hop Inaugural Ball Monday, January19, 2009. The ball, sponsored by the Hip Hop SummitAction Network (HSAN), will boast dozens of communityleaders, politicians, and Hip Hop celebrities andpersonalities. The guest list includes comedian DaveChappelle, Akon, Mos Def and Mario among others.

There are dozens of parties and balls being heldaround the capital in honor of the inauguration ofBarack Obama scheduled within a tight four day period.According to Dr. Benjamin Chavis, president andco-founder of HSAN, party hoppers should chose the HipHop Inaugural Ball over the next soiree because “thisis the first time there has ever been a Hip Hopinaugural ball and that is[because] of the role HipHop played in getting Obama elected.”

“The Hip Hop Summit Action Network is the largestcoalition of hip hop artists. It’s been about eightyears that we have been trying to get people toregister to vote. The Hip Hop Summit Action Networkplayed a large role and that’s why the Hip Hop SummitAction Network has sponsored the Hip Hop inauguralBall,” Chavis says.

Artists from Jay-Z and Juelz Santana to Young Jeezyand Will.i.am have publicly endorsed Barack Obama atunprecedented rates. According to Chavis, Hip Hop hasbecome increasingly politically active and awarebecause for the first time a presidential candidatehas been a part of the Hip Hop community.

“I think Obama himself is a hip hop head,” Chavissays. “He was asked himself what he listens to on hisipod and he said T.I., he said Ludacris, Jay-z andothers. So he is in support of Hip Hop music.”

“I think Hip Hop is considered transformative. I thinkHip Hop is going to play a role in the transformationof America. Hip Hop is not anti-establishment it’sabout changing the establishment and the way youchange the establishment, you engage the politicalprocess.”

The ball is being held at the Harmon Center and ticketprices range from $500 general admission to $2500 VIPSky Level Access. All proceeds benefit charity but theamount of tickets left are limited so all thoseinterested in attended the Black tie event shouldvisit hiphopinaugural.org for details andpurchasing information.