Lowcountry hip-hop artist and social justice activist Benny Starr is describing his support for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a new endorsement announcement ahead of her visit to Charleston this weekend.

In the video shared exclusively with the Charleston City Paper, Starr explains how he was impacted by seeing footage of Warren touring the town of Cleveland, Miss. Struck by the fact that it appeared similar to his hometown of Pineville, a small unincorporated community in Berkeley County, Starr thought she was making the effort to connect with residents there.

“I felt like she didn’t have to be there. Oftentimes, [candidates] don’t come to communities like the ones I’m from,” Starr says in the video published by the Warren campaign. The announcement includes footage from Starr’s appearance at a Warren event in Goose Creek last month.

Starr’s endorsement came six months after the release of A Water Album, the culmination of a live recording of socially conscious songs that he has used as a platform to encourage civic engagement, support for black artists, and now, political action. Readers voted A Water Album as Album of the Year in the 2019 City Paper Music Awards.

“One of the repeating questions was: What will we do? That question was equally posed to those in power and those who are most susceptible to the effects of what will happen when the water keeps rising,” Starr said in the video.

Warren will participate in a town all-style event with S.C. Sen. Marlon Kimpson at the College of Charleston on Sun. Dec. 8 as part of the school’s Bully Pulpit candidate series. Kimpson has not endorsed in the S.C. Democratic primary, but has hosted candidates for similar events for months. The event is open to the public: Doors open at 2 p.m., with the event beginning at 3:15 p.m.  [content-1] Warren has found herself among the frontrunners in early Democratic contest states, with former Vice President Joe Biden as her primary competition in South Carolina. With U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris dropping out of the race in the last week, Harris is the only remaining female Democratic candidate earning significant support in early state polls.

The S.C. Democratic Primary is scheduled Sat. Feb. 29.

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