MCs and activists are preparing to Rap The Vote. In an election year where young voters are seen as key players, the hip-hop nation has been at the forefront of issue and voter organizing activities. This summer will see several historic gatherings bring together grassroots activists, non-profit youth organizations, voter engagement groups, and conscious artists in an effort to unify the hip-hop nation’s election voice.

To be held in Las Vegas August 1 – 3, the National Hip-Hop Political Convention opens with a pre-convention gathering July 28 – 31 titled “The State of Hip Hop” before its main kick-off event. The pre-convention event will include a film festival, concerts, art exhibits, academic symposium, and bboy/bgirl battles. Main convention activities will include conferences, entertainment, cross-cultural exchanges, workshops, film screenings, and exhibitions to address the issues and concerns affecting hip-hop culture and the hip-hop Generation.

Confirmed guests and speakers for NHHPC 2008 include Byron Hurt (Beyond Beats and Rhymes), Unspoken Heard’s Asheru, Hard Knock Radio’s Davey D, Rev. Lenox Yearwood, The Coup’s Boots Riley, Rosa Clemente, Camp Lo, Haiku D’Tat, author Jeff Chang, Gamblers Crew, Knucklehead Zoo, Popmaster Fabel, Rebel Diaz, The Welfare Poets, Supernatural, and more to be announced.

Presenters and sponsors include representatives from local and national grassroots organizations and non-profits, including Ruckus Society (Oakland), One Hood (Pittsburgh), Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (National), Hip Hop Media Lab (Boston), Hip Hop Caucus (Washington DC), Color of Change (SF Bay Area/National), Ella Baker Center of Human Rights (Oakland), New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice (New Orleans), Safe Streets Strong Communities (New Orleans), Survivors Village (New Orleans), League of Young Voters (National) Universal Zulu Nation, and Temple of Hip Hop.

2008 Convention Chairperson Troy Nkrumah says, “This political convention is the biggest gathering of young activists, mostly urban youth of color, who are often ignored and overlooked when policy is developed. What do these young people care about? What is their position on the education system, the criminal justice system, or even on access to adequate healthcare? If policy makers feel these young people do not care about these issues, then they should pay more attention to what happens at the 2008 National Hip Hop Political Convention.”