On November 7, the eve of the 2016 election, Daveed Diggs joined Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The actor won a Tony this year for his performance as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the cultural phenom Hamilton.
Diggs and The Roots’ Black Thought rapped about the importance of voting November 8. One verse emphasized the fraught history of the right to vote:
The right to vote ain’t always been given to every citizen
Not until 1920 did it include any women ‘n’
Not until 1965 if you exhibit melanin
And even now they try to stop us when they tellin us
and who can and who can’t
And all this voter registration
I’ll be damned if all that blood and fightin
For the right to be counted
I don’t get out my bed and fill out that ballot
Watch the full rap here:
Diggs also talked about culling his musical taste as a kid. His mother, Barbara, was a DJ in the ’70s and ’80s at The Graduate in Berkeley, CA. “I grew up listening to those records,” he said. “My mom’s a very small white woman, and my dad always describes that club as black people in the Bay know that Wednesday nights you go see this little white lady spin.”
His mother has seen Hamilton over a dozen times. “I actually had to tell her to stop posting on FB and stuff, but she is very proud,” he said.
In non-Hamilton happenings for the rapper, his group, clipping, just released an album, Splendor & Misery. Diggs and his fellow groupmates forego instruments, and every sound they make is rapped, synthesized, or field-recorded. “We’ll go push a trash can down the stairs and use that as the drums instead of a drum,” he said. The group will travel to Europe in December for a mini-tour.
Once the election ends, no doubt the focus will be the holiday season. Diggs shared his “Holiday Horror Story” and his family’s tradition known as Meat Fest.