Rap songs can get political, and 17-year-old rapper Destiny Galindo uses her talents to encourage young people to vote and get more involved in politics.
Earlier this year Looking@Democracy put together a competition asking young people “How can we work together to strengthen our democracy?” and Destiny won with her rap song and video “American Vision.” The Arizona resident scored a $25,000 cash prize thanks to The MacArthur Foundation.
+ Watch Destiny's "American Vision."
Destiny’s serious about pursuing rap (check out her YouTube channel for more music!). MTV Act wanted to know more about what inspired the musical teen to make her song and what she hopes to accomplish with it.
ACT: What was your inspiration behind the song “American Vision?” How long did it take you to write it?
DESTINY: The inspiration behind the song “American Vision” came from things I went through throughout my high school years and inequality in our government and not being able to really speak up myself. I thought I’d bring together my rapping skills with my political views, and it just came out.
It took me a good two weeks to do research and actually know what I was talking about. Yeah, a good two weeks to get everything together and really understand what was going on.
ACT: Are you interested in pursuing music? How about music dealing with pro-social issues?
DESTINY: Yes, that’s what I want my career to be. [“American Vision”] was just something where I was able to tie my political views with my rap skills and kind of bring myself out to get noticed a bit. But I do plan on having entertainment as my career.
I do have a few more political themes I'd like to use in my music. There are a lot of things I see that aren't fair for kids my age.
ACT: What do you want viewers to take away from your song?
DESTINY: The main thing I tried to tie in there was voting. I feel that everyone has the opportunity to vote. Many people bag on the government, they bag on the president, but they have it within themselves to vote and pick whomever they want to choose. We do have a voice.
ACT: What do you think needs to be done in order to strengthen democracy?
DESTINY: I feel like a group of people needs to get together and they need to work on a certain area. We do that already, but not enough of us do that. We need to make an attempt to be more alive. Don't just fight for something for two weeks, three weeks. If you want change, you really have to go at it and you've got to be knocking on the government’s door every day.
ACT: How would you encourage others also not old enough to vote to get involved with politics and standing up for what they believe in?
DESTINY: I would encourage them to stand up for what they believe in, and go with what they know. The song is pretty much encouragement.