To kick off a Thursday night matchup described as “the battle to end all battles” between two Atlanta hip-hop legends, Jeezy and Gucci Mane, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams had an important message for residents of the state leading up to the Jan. 5 Senate runoff races: “Vote.”
“We [need to] at least make sure that everyone shows up to vote so we have two senators to make sure we have COVID response and we’ve got stimulus money coming back to Georgia,” Abrams said, while remotely opening up the event for the two rappers at the famed Magic City strip club in Atlanta.
Verzuz, the brainchild of producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, is a virtual series of music battles between popular artists streamed on Instagram and Apple Music that sprang up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to keep people entertained at home.
On Thursday, Abrams thanked Jeezy and Gucci, former friends turned foes who are now back on good terms, for mobilizing formerly incarcerated people throughout the state to vote. She joked that the appearance earned her some “street cred” with her nieces and nephews.
“I just wanted to say thank you to both of you, especially for the work you’ve done to encourage folks who are coming back, returning citizens, to know that they have the right to vote,” Abrams said. “I’ve got a younger brother who’s been in and out of the system, and I know that redemption is real, and I know that the voices that these men and women can bring to our state matter.”
The live-streamed event had more than 5.5 million total viewers on Instagram and millions more through Apple Music.
Abrams shared a screenshot of her appearance on Twitter with the caption “Let’s get it done,” alongside a link for Georgians to request absentee ballots.
Both Democratic Senate candidates also gave shout-outs to Abrams. Jon Ossoff, who’s going up against incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue, tweeted, “Go Stacey!”
And the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who’s going up against GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler, tweeted, “Thanks Stacey Abrams. … Let’s win this.”
Abrams narrowly lost to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a controversial race in 2018 and has since dedicated her efforts to mobilizing Georgia voters through her Fair Fight national voting rights organization, which has been widely credited as a huge force behind President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia in the 2020 general election.
In a fun exchange at the top of the Verzuz conversation, Gucci Mane asked Abrams, “Can you wipe my record clean?”
“That’s a job that the governor could do,” responded Abrams, who is rumored to be considering another run for that position in 2022. “You know, we’ll have to think about that later.”
Below are key dates for Georgians to remember ahead of the state’s Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5, 2021:
Cover thumbnail photo illustration: Yahoo News; Photos: Prince Williams/Wireimage via Getty (2), Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images
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