With the election just days away, Hillary Clinton is counting on young, black, and Latino voters to push her over the edge in battleground states like Florida and Ohio. Last night, a Clinton rally at Cleveland State University brought out some of the biggest names in hip hop to help her do just that, including none other than Jay Z and Beyoncé.
The rally was originally advertised as featuring only Jay Z, but Big Sean, Chance the Rapper, and J. Cole performed as well. Big Sean opened the show with one of his most popular songs, "I Don't Fuck With You," which, in this case, could easily be interpreted as being about Donald Trump.
"I don't have any ill will toward him," Jay Z said of Trump. "But his conversation is divisive. He cannot be my president—he cannot be our president."
But the real star of the show, as always, was Beyoncé, who took the stage around 10 p.m. to "Formation," dressed in a Hillary-style pantsuit (her backup dancers were also pantsuited up). During one of her songs, Clinton's infamous "stayed home and baked cookies" line appeared on screen.
"Eight years ago, I was so inspired to know that my nephew, a young black child, could grow up knowing his dreams could be realized by seeing a black president in office," she said. "And now we have the opportunity to create more change. I want my daughter to grow up seeing a woman lead our country and know that her possibilities are limitless."
By most accounts, the rally was a success—but as the Times points out, dozens of people in the 10,000-person crowd left the arena right after Beyoncé's performance ended, as she and Jay Z introduced Hillary Clinton.
Clinton thanked Beyoncé for "showing up and showing the world we are strongest when we look out for each other," and praised Jay Z "for addressing, in his music, some of our biggest challenges in the country: poverty, racism, the urgent need for criminal justice reform." And then this happened:
— CNN (@CNN) November 5, 2016
Unsurprisingly, conservatives were pissed. Donald Trump, at a rally of his own, shared some thoughts about Jay Z's appearance:
"I actually like Jay Z, but the language last night. Ohhhh," Donald Trump says at a rally, critiquing Jay Z's profanity.
— Colin Campbell (@colincampbell) November 5, 2016
Breitbart slammed Clinton for recruiting "Anti-Cop Beyoncé" to rally for her; Lou Dobbs spouted some nonsense about Clinton not being offended by Jay Z's usage of the "n-word" and "f-bomb" during his performance; and someone brought the illuminati into it. As Beyoncé herself once said, y'all haters corny with that illuminati mess.
Hillary brings out illuminati sell-outs Jay Z & Beyonce- draws almost 10,000
Trump speaks to the American people by himself- 11,000 plus! pic.twitter.com/9T6Emm28JE
— Baked Alaska 3X™ (@bakedalaska) November 5, 2016
This latest rally was one of Clinton's final attempts to appeal to both young voters and to people of color who have felt shunned by the Trump campaign. Last week in Florida, Clinton held a rally with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony to rile up Latino support in the key swing state.
Early voting by Latinos is boosting her numbers in Arizona, Florida, and Nevada, but Clinton is still having trouble courting some voters of color—earlier this week, Politico reported that early voter turnout among black Florida voters has been worryingly low for Democrats, after being strong in the 2012 election.
Representative Alcee Hastings told Politico that he wasn't surprised by black Floridians' lack of enthusiasm for Clinton, and that they were misallocating their resources in the state geared at outreach to black voters. Leslie Wimes, a black activist from Florida, told the site she had warned the Clinton campaign about the issue as far back as September.
"All their talk and enthusiasm in the black community was bullshit. Bullshit," she said. "In September, I said they had time to fix the problem. Now we're a week away from the election and they can't fix it. Let's hope the Hispanic vote bails her out."