PlayStation®2, Russell Simmons and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network Rolled Into New York With 'Race to the Polls' - a Special Event to Encourage Voter Participation

Special Performances by Mary J. Blige, Disturbing the Peace Featuring Ludacris, Foxy Brown, Public Enemy and Wyclef Jean Support Effort to Help Drive Voter Participation in the 2004 Presidential Election


With the Presidential election less than four weeks away, PlayStation®2 joined forces with Russell Simmons and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) for "Race to the Polls," an exclusive event dedicated to encouraging young voters to participate in the upcoming presidential election. PlayStation 2 has partnered with HSAN to help support its voter education efforts for the same young demographic that have popularized the world of hip-hop music and gaming.

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The last presidential election in 2000 only brought 36 percent of Americans ages 18-24 to the polls, according to census figures. While a lot of emphasis has been placed on voter registration over the past year, "Race to the Polls" was designed to increase awareness and support to improve voter turn out.

Hip-Hop and Hollywood merged on New York's Manhattan Center Studios Hammerstein Ballroom where Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Pharell Williams and Lil' Kim came out to support HSAN's efforts to create a dialog with young people on the importance of participating in the political process. Emcees Doug E. Fresh and Funkmaster Flex kept the crowd of 2,000 young people energized throughout the night as they introduced performances by Mary J. Blige, Public Enemy, Foxy Brown, and Wyclef Jean. The performers all took time during the night to reinforce the importance of participating in this year's election with personal anecdotes.

The night kicked off with a celebrity gaming tournament on the ultimate driving simulator, Gran Turismo®4, scheduled for release in December exclusively on PlayStation 2. The first heat pitted Foxy Brown, Q-Tip, Lennox Lewis and Flavor Flav against each other on the next extension of the multi- million unit PlayStation 2 franchise. Adrian Grenier was really focused before the race on practicing the to take on Ludacris, Anne Hathaway and Loon but he was no match for Loon who took home the coveted trophy. In addition, Loon left the winner's circle with a $25,000 donation from PlayStation 2 to HSAN on his behalf.

After the gaming tournament, Disturbing the Peace featuring Ludacris had the crowd moving. The crowd went wild for the second performance by Foxy Brown who is working on a new album. Public Enemy was joined by Brigitte Neilson on stage who danced along to "Bring the Noise." After Public Enemy, Mary J. Blige quickly enamored the crowd with her hit "My Life." The night was capped off with a performance by Wyclef Jean who strummed a crystal- encrusted guitar.

With the support of PlayStation 2, today's hottest hip-hop artists, entertainment industry leaders and education advocates aimed at involving the hip-hop generation in issues such as voter education, youth leadership and economic advancement, HSAN has already registered hundreds of thousands of young people over the past 12 months. "Race to the Polls" PlayStation 2 gaming tournament will reinforce the belief that -- whether gaming or at the polls -- may the best person win.

About Hip-Hop Summit Action Network

HSAN is a non-profit, non-partisan national coalition of artists, entertainment industry leaders, education advocates, civil rights proponents and youth leaders united in the belief that the "hip-hop" phenomena is an enormously influential agent for social change which must be responsibly and pro-actively utilized to fight the war on poverty and injustice.

For more information on the local summits and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network efforts, go to

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