It’s Election Day; did you vote? It’s probably not too late! To energize you, here’s C-SPAN footage of 19-year-old MF Doom testifying before Congress in 1992. Back then he was going by the name Zev Love X and was a member of KMD. Rappcatts offers some background on the scene:
In the 1980s and early 1990s, facing a wave of music censorship that included Parental Advisory stickers on records, to the arrest of rap performers in Florida, political operative Steve Barr and Virgin Records exec Jeff Ayeroff launched Rock The Vote.
The idea behind Rock the Vote was simple: get young people to vote for politicians who wouldn’t censor music. The organized movement behind Rock the Vote focused on the “Motor Voter” bill, which would allow people to register to vote at the DMV when they got a driver’s license, and to register by mail. In short, they wanted to encourage young people to engage in the voting process by making registration easy and welcoming.
In May 1992, after a successful petition drive (with help from REM), the Motor Voter bill passed Congress, only to be vetoed by president George H.W. Bush. This was an election year. Bush’s opponent, Bill Clinton, took up the cause of the Motor Voter bill, and signed it into law as the National Voter Registration Act of 1992.
Here is video from committee hearing for the National Noter Registration Act in congress, April 17, 1991, showing 19-year old MF DOOM (Zev Love X) with his partner Onyx from the group KMD. They’re sitting with Rock the Vote co-founder Steve Barr, speaking to Sen. Wendell Ford of Kentucky.
And here’s the footage: