- Stacey Abrams kicked off the latest “Verzuz” music battle between the rappers Jeezy and Gucci Mane in Atlanta, encouraging Georgia-based viewers to support Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the January US Senate runoff elections.
- Abrams, a former Democratic minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, narrowly lost the state’s 2018 gubernatorial election.
- “I just wanted to say thank you to both of you, especially for the work you’ve done to encourage returning citizens [from prison] to know that they have the right to vote,” Abrams said to the two rappers.
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As the rappers Jeezy and Gucci Mane were set to begin their long-awaited “Verzuz” music battle at the famed Magic City strip club in Atlanta on Thursday, a surprise guest was scheduled to kick off the event.
Suddenly, Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Georgia, popped onscreen at the event, beaming at the two rappers, who welcomed her with open arms.
“Thank you guys for letting me crash before what I know is the battle to end all battles,” she said. “Thanks for giving me some street cred[ibility] with my nieces and nephews.”
Verzuz, the popular webcast created by the producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, began during the coronavirus pandemic as a response to people being quarantined in their homes and away from music venues and clubs. It can be streamed on Instagram and Apple Music, and has become a must-watch event over the past few months.
Abrams, a lawyer and former Democratic minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, was making a video appearance to advocate for voting rights and the election of both Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the US Senate in the January runoff elections in Georgia.
Gucci Mane immediately asked if Abrams could help him with his previous legal issues.
“Can you wipe my record clean?” he said with a laugh.
“That’s a job that the governor could do, but we’ll have to think about that later,” Abrams said. “Right now, we could at least make sure that everyone shows up to vote so we have two senators [Warnock and Ossoff] to make sure we have COVID response and we’ve got stimulus money coming back to Georgia.”
—Verzuz (@verzuzonline) November 20, 2020
“That’s right, we got you baby,” Jeezy responded. “Let’s get it. GA [Georgia], you know we’re going to stand up for you.”
Abrams expressed gratitude to the men for working with ex-offenders and mobilizing them to vote.
“I just wanted to say thank you to both of you, especially for the work you’ve done to encourage returning citizens [from prison] to know that they have the right to vote,” she said. “I’ve got a younger brother who’s been in and out of the system, and I know redemption is real, and I know that the voices that these men and women can bring to our state matter. Thank you for the work that you’ve done.”
Through Abrams’ longtime voter mobilization efforts, along with the spirited 2018 gubernatorial campaign that she narrowly lost to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, she has been widely credited as a huge force behind President-elect Joe Biden winning Georgia in the 2020 election.
Verzuz, which routinely features hundreds of thousands to over a million viewers per performance, has hosted competitions between the singers Brandy and Monica, Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle, and Alicia Keys and John Legend, as well as lyrical battles between rap icons like DJ Premier and RZA, among others.
After Abrams’ appearance, she took to Twitter, writing “Let’s get it done” and linking to Georgia’s official website for requesting absentee ballots.
—Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) November 20, 2020