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Hip-Hop Legends De La Soul, D.R.A.M. Unite with Locals in Ohio to #ShowupVote

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Just 10 days before the US Presidential Election in Columbus, Ohio, Global Citizens showed up at Express Live! Friday afternoon to see performances from De La Soul, D.R.A.M., Chord Overstreet, Nick D & The Believers, and the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center Band, with host Jerry DePizzo from O.A.R, and DJ City Newwss.  

The show itself was a change from the block-party vibes in Vegas. The indoor venue provided warm shelter from both the contentious political climate and the weather. It also gave everyone a chance to illustrate the importance of voting.

Read More: Vic Mensa and Taco Trucks Get Out the Vote in Las Vegas

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The event was supported by Nex Gen Climate, IHeartRadio, Democracy Fund Voice, TargetSmart, and Ohio Student Association. Lyft provided discounted rides to voters to get to the polls.

After a pumped-up performance from the talented 17-year-olds of the Fort Hayes School Band, host Jerry DePizzo opened up the show, while the crowd filed into Express Live enjoying free pizza and beverages.

“We step up and we take action," said DePizzo. "That’s how we can solve the world’s biggest challenges. Starting right here in this election."

Then Chord Overstreet kicked off with a powerful set, inspiring all audience members to “have your voice heard.”

Overstreet understands the ability of music to reach people across the world. “There is a lot of power in music. One song can affect one million people,” Overstreet told Global Citizen.

Rap artist D.R.A.M. started with “Cash Machine” and teased up to crowd favorite “Broccoli.”

dram.jpgImage: Global Citizen

And in a touching moment of local empowerment, Nick D & The Believers took the stage and Nick shared that he has personally voted in Columbus.

“Tackling gender equality, solving the refugee crisis, ending climate change – these all begin with how we, as citizens, use our voice – no matter what your politics,” said DJ City Newwss.

Read More: De La Soul, D.R.A.M. to Play Global Citizen #ShowupVote Party in Columbus, Ohio

The venue was full of engaged students, passionate local citizens, a few adorable kids, and of course Ohioans eager to celebrate early voting in one of the key swing states prior to Nov. 8.

Early voting started in Ohio on October 11 – so it was no surprise that plenty of Ohioans were ready to share their passion to #ShowupVote. Among the issues they care about and would like to hear more of from US Presidential candidates and their own local politicians before the election are climate change, poverty (on both local and global scales), the economy, and race and inequality.

Read More: Voting in Ohio: Everything You Need to Know

“My main concern is climate change and of course women’s rights,” said Cassie Crisp a student who traveled from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania for the event.  

Overall, the message to get and vote could not have been louder in Columbus.

“Fighting for the right to vote has been so important throughout history," said Sherry Bean-Lloyd of ColumbusBlack.com. "I don’t think anyone should stay home."

The audience was booming by the time De La Soul, who is passionate about improving the economy, Syria, and education took the stage and closed the show.

“We are a group that has been blessed to travel, " De La Soul told Global Citizen. "We are a group that has been to Syria and met people there and saw how beautiful it was and then just several months later we saw that these beautiful places are now gone. So understanding the importance of everyone being able to have a life that is safe from terrorism [is important.]” 

Read More: Voting in Florida: Everything You Need to Know

Next up Orlando, Florida, on Nov. 3! Until then, we hope everyone takes the words above from De La Soul to heart.