Andrew Yang made sure his presence in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Race was felt. However, on Feb. 11, the presidential candidate announced he was suspending his campaign to land a seat in the Oval Office.
"I am the math guy, and it’s clear from the numbers we’re not going to win this campaign,” he said to a room of supporters as New Hampshire’s primary results were coming in. “So tonight I’m announcing that I am suspending my campaign.”
Yang stated that he feels "proud" of his work on the trail, and in a BuzzFeed interview, he said he's thankful to have met so many incredible Americans.
“I feel great when supporters tell me that the campaign lifted them out of a depression or made them feel better about their future," he said.
Following his announcement he was dropping out from the presidential bid, he also shared his thanks for the many people in his corner. "I am so proud of this campaign. Thank you to everyone who got us here. 🙏," he tweeted.
The entrepreneur and lawyer, who filed his presidential campaign with the Federal Election Commission in 2017, was considered a dark horse candidate against big names in the running for the nomination, such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. However, through a policy-focused campaign, catchy slogans echoing his promises such as "Not Left, Not Right, Forward” and "Make America Think Harder" ("MATH"), and a general concern and understanding of the rights of all Americans, he found several supporters of all ages, races and backgrounds in his “Yang Gang.”
What else garnered fans of Andrew Yang? The New York native’s appreciation and affinity of hip-hop culture. Whether he was rubbing elbows with Grammy-nominated artists, appearing on stage at rap shows, shouting out Nas and Cam’ron as some of his favorites or bumping Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and Drake’s “God’s Plan” on his Spotify playlist, the 44-year-old former Democratic presidential hopeful made sure to let his roots show, emerging as (quite possibly) one of the most personable candidates.
In anticipation of campaign season hitting full throttle, XXL compiled a few of Andrew Yang’s biggest hip-hop moments on the trail.
Attends Rich Brian's Concert
In October of 2019, Yang surprised many when he appeared at a Rich Brian concert in New York City. The presidential candidate at the time came on stage to say a few words to the uproariously loud crowd during the show.
“Just like Brian shows that there are no limits to what we can do creatively, we’re going to show that there are no limits to what we can do—the biggest leadership stage in the world,” Yang told those in attendance.
He continued to show his support of the “Drive Safe” rapper on Twitter, writing that Rich Brian and the 88rising collective, the Asian-celebrated hip hop label Brian is signed to, are “true pioneers.”
Receives Chance The Rapper’s Support
A heartwarming video of Andrew Yang in a jazzercise class before a meeting in South Carolina may have been enough to turn Chance The Rapper’s head in his direction.
Although Lil Chano admitted on Twitter that he “can’t be pandered to,” Yang’s spirited rendition of the “Cupid Shuffle” during the August 2019 fitness class “mighta made” him a member of the Yang Gang.
What made the rapper a believer? Yang’s “confident” headbob around the video’s 11-second mark. The attorney and entrepreneur responded to The Big Day rapper by encouraging him to join his “very wholesome gang,” and congratulating him on his success.
Earns Childish Gambino's Endorsement
Grammy-winning musician Childish Gambino announced his endorsement of Andrew Yang in December 2019, with a joint pop-up event titled “The 46 Campaign” with the Democratic nominee hopeful. Yang went even further than a "Thank you" by bringing the “This Is America” rapper on his campaign team as creative consultant. Childish and his camp reportedly designed Yang merchandise, which includes sweatshirts, hats and posters.
“Donald Glover is one of the most talented and forward thinking artists on the planet… We’re hopeful and excited to have him continue collaborating with our campaign to take our message to more Americans,” Yang’s campaign manager, Zach Graumann, told Fast Company.
Uses Tupac Hologram to Get His Point Across
Yang hoped to bring his campaign to new heights and to reach a whole new group of voters. In April of 2019 on TMZ Live, the former presidential hopeful unveiled a 3D hologram of himself that he aimed to use in battleground states, in order to appear in multiple places at multiple times.
In his televised announcement, the hologram featured Yang alongside the late rapper Tupac Shakur. The MC, who was killed in 1996, appeared as a hologram during a highly-publicized performance at the Coachella Music Festival in 2012.
Gets a Jin-Certifed Diss Track
Jin took on the role of Andrew Yang for the “Yang Gang” diss track, and you have to hear it to believe it. On the track, which uses the instrumental for Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones,” the rapper takes shots at Yang’s Democratic nomination rivals Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, and also calls out the moderators of the September 2019 debate. It got the Yang stamp of approval in the form of a tweet.
“These moderators got y’all gassed up,” Jin spits on the song. “Won’t even let me talk, scared I’ll catch up?”
Earlier last year, Jin released an endorsement track titled “Drew Yang Gang, That’s Who I Hooked Up Wit,” which samples Wu-Tang Clan's “Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta Fuck Wit.”
Celebrates Hip-Hop in Spotify Playlist
It’s clear that Andrew Yang loves a good tune, and his August 2019 Spotify playlist is chockfull of his “favorite jams.” In celebration of his past campaign’s Q3 funding hitting the $2 million mark, Yang released the playlist last summer to thank his supporters through an Instagram post.
While the genres in the 46-song playlist are all over the board, Yang made sure to include some of his hip-hop favorites, including “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, “God’s Plan” from Drake, Tupac Shakur’s “Changes” and Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack.”
During a segment for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last month, Andrew Yang was asked a series of questions about the music he listens to, which allowed him to push his appreciation of hip-hop even further.
Yang detailed that when he works out, he usually listens to a ton of hip-hop, such as “Made Ya Look” by Nas, “Down and Out” by Cam’ron, and songs by Fabolous. He shouts out Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” and its “profound” music video, while also stating that he would play Drake’s “Started From the Bottom” at his inauguration if he was elected President.
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