Bernie Sanders Eats Lunch With Killer Mike & 6 More Times Politicians Rubbed Elbows With Rappers
On Monday, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders dined with Killer Mike at an Atlanta cafe. The rapper endorsed Sanders in June, citing the Vermont senator's support for restoring the Voting Rights Act, and introduced Sanders at a rally in the city shortly after the meal. It might seem like an odd pairing — but in fact, many politicians have met rappers over the years, sometimes unexpectedly.
Killer Mike tweeted an image of Sanders perusing the menu at Busy Bee Cafe on Monday; according to ABC News, Sanders ordered "fried chicken, dark meat, yams, rice and gravy" at the meal. It was part of a larger tour of Atlanta: Sanders also met with Dr. Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter, at the King Center, before grabbing lunch with Killer Mike, then headed to the Fox Theatre for a campaign event.
In the past, rappers and politicians have rubbed elbows for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, as in this case, it's merely a matter of political support. In other cases, an MC wants to discuss a serious policy issue with a leader, while other encounters have been sheer coincidence. Here are a few other times elected officials have met with rappers, and how those meetings came to be.
Kanye West & Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton met Kanye West and Kim Kardashian earlier this year at a fundraiser in California. Clinton and Kardashian snapped a selfie to commemorate the occasion, and West got in on the fun as well. But he's slightly out of frame; whether he simply arrived late for the picture or was attempting to photo bomb the two up for debate.
Kanye West & Barack Obama
Despite the fact that President Obama called West a "jackass" back in 2009, the two apparently made amends by 2014, when West and Kim Kardashian had a meeting with the president for undisclosed reasons.
Kendrick Lamar & Jerry Brown
In May this year, the California State Senate named Kendrick Lamar a "Generational Icon" of the 35th senate district — which includes the city of Compton, where Lamar is from. Lamar accepted the honor in person, and had a sit-down meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown while he was at the capitol.
Jay Z & Andrew Cuomo
After a grand jury declined to press any charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who choked Eric Garner to death for selling bootleg cigarettes, Jay-Z met with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to discuss criminal justice reform.
Ludacris & Jeb Bush
In what was apparently a chance encounter, former Florida governor and now fledgling presidential candidate Jeb Bush met Ludacris at the Georgia state capitol earlier this year. Bush was there to address the state legislature, which happened to be honoring Ludacris and his extensive philanthropic work on the same day.
Pharrell & Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton met with Pharrell Williams and the rest of N.E.R.D. in 2010 — here's a picture of them. The group was holding a fundraiser for the Clinton Foundation in Miami; years later, Williams endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.