Jay-Z, Diddy and Nas endorse Ray McGuire for NYC mayor

McGuire faces contenders like former WH hopeful Andrew Yang, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley.

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Rap moguls Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Nasir Jones, best known as Nas, have each endorsed Ray McGuire for mayor of New York City. All three cultural icons and business titans are New York natives, and their endorsements give McGuire’s campaign some major star power. 

Its current mayor, Democrat Bill de Blasio, is leaving office in 2022 due to term limits.

New York City Mayoral candidate Ray McGuire speaks during a press conference at the National Action Network’s House of Justice to denounce the rise of attacks against Asian Americans last month in New York City. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

The McGuire campaign released a video featuring Carter, Combs and Jones in which they talk about their memories of the city and its needs. 

“When New York was its livest and most vibrant,” Jay-Z begins, “it was because it was a destination for people to come there and create.” 

“Somewhere along the line,” Nas entones, “the ball got dropped, and it’s all about a racial divide when it’s the most diverse city in the world.” 

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“New York is in a state of emergency,” Diddy adds. “New York could be the first city that really does something bold to take care of the people. That’s why I was excited about this conversation, just knowing Ray.”

McGuire then comes in to note that he has known all three artists for nearly three decades. “Through those 30 years, no matter where we were at, Ray was always talking about the people,” says Diddy.

McGuire was previously the vice chairman of Citigroup and has stepped down explicitly to launch his run for mayor. In the video, he said that he too experienced a “streets-to-the-suites” rise that he has in common with the three rap moguls. 

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“When I came into this business, there was only one other person who looked like me in the whole money game,” says McGuire, who would be the city’s second Black mayor, if elected. “I’ve been blessed. Our kids shouldn’t have to get lucky.”

McGuire is campaigning in a packed field of contenders that includes former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Maya Wiley, the MSNBC legal analyst and former counsel to Mayor de Blasio. He’s a moderate skeptical of tax increases who is seeking to partner with the private sector to boost job growth. 

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McGuire has not explicitly addressed the myriad of issues surrounding the NYPD, nor has he committed to defunding the country’s largest and most financed police department. However, he has received an endorsement from Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr. He has also been endorsed by Brooklyn icon Spike Lee and is reportedly holding on to one of the contest’s biggest fundraising war chests. 

In the video, Nas says definitively, “Everything [McGuire] is saying is everything I want to hear.”

Radio mainstay Angie Martinez and author/businessman Steve Stoute also show up in the clip to praise McGuire.

The Democratic primary for the New York City mayoral race is June 22.

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