Many musicians come out and say they want to run for president. From Wyclef Jean for Haiti’s presidential race of 2010 to Kanye West VMA 2024 race announcement, fans have envisioned what it would be like to not just have a Black president but their favorite artist in the highest position in the land.
On Monday, Montreality released an interview with Compton, CA native YG about what he would do if he became President of the United States. There are tons of highlights but here are just a few things that he says which caught my attention:
1. “If I was President, I would give everyone $100,000 and see what they do with it.” Now, this may seem far fetched, but in regards to stimulus packages or even reparations the thought of the president providing a set amount of money to each American family is endearing. This would not only provide an opportunity for American families with debt below $100,000 to get out of the debt trap, but it would also shift the housing market, potentially increase the number of Americans who own property, provide the financial security for some Americans to travel abroad for the first time and increase the number of parents who can afford to send their children to colleges of acceptance without strong financial aid packages. The length this amount of money could go is almost unimaginable.
2. “If I was President, you wouldn’t be sitting in jail for crimes that’s non violent, you wouldn’t be doing too much time for crimes that are non-violent.” I thought this point was crucial. Currently, America has over 2 million people in prison. According to Time’s incarceration report, “25% of prisoners (364,000 people), almost all non-violent, lower-level offenders, would be better served by alternatives to incarceration such as treatment, community service, or probation.” The current issues with mass incarceration and sentencing laws are readily on the minds of Americans who see and experience first hand families being broken and people being sentenced as well as released without rehabilitation or a process of reentry to society. Currently, a presidential initiative hasn't been released to shift this, however, you can check out how President Obama dealt with this in this PBS video on his legacy.
3. “If I was President, everybody would go to college for free.” Come thrrrroooouuughhhhhh YG! That was my initial reaction. I know there are many arguments as to why we should or should not make college free, but we mustn’t forget that free education at the college level was once the norm in California and in 1982 multiple proposals occurred to move the state to charge tuition. The decision to do so, has of course transformed the economic position of middle class Americans, who according to Time have around $35,000 average debt.
4. “If I was President, all the food in the grocery stores would be organic” Although there have been initiatives to grow food in many inner city communities across the nation, there is still a high level of food deserts, which limits residents access to healthy food options, in urban communities. It still remains true that it is cheaper and easier to purchase fast food than it is to purchase ANYTHING organic including milk, eggs, meat, bread, vegetables and juice in the hood. Also, the location of organic super markets such as Whole Foods are predominately located in more affluent neighborhoods. Out of his many statements about his presidency this one was pleasantly surprising.
5. "All these police killin’ innocent Black people for no reason would be doing life in prison."
It is difficult to believe that with camera footage, Facebook live footage, body cameras, cellphones and a host of other ways in which we are currently able to document our interactions with the police, YG still needs to make this a focus of his presidency. Yet, we all know one thing to be true, it doesn’t matter the evidence police officers have historically received less sentencing or no time despite the crimes. Many scholars have studied this issue within the justice system and Shaun King's article, "Cops are Convicted of Murder as much as Whites who Lynched Blacks" is a good starting point for someone who wants to crunch the numbers further. Perhaps, if YG’s law was a current one, more thought would go into each bullet let out of a gun.
6.“If Pac was still around he’d be pressin’ the line with everything that's going on right now, he’d definitely be ten toes down with it all” This interview made me miss home. I love his honesty and use of African American Vernacular which only some of us could understand or appreciate. I 100% agree with YG on this one. If 2PAC was still alive he would press all issues publicly without hesitation. We all know we lost a real one. I could write an entire blog on his response to 2Pac living today but I've written enough on 2Pac's Legacy already. Yall know I have nunthin but Caliiifffooorrrrrnniiiiiiiiia Luv for Pac.
He says a lot more, check out the interview from MONTREALITY below