Will.I.Am: Meet The Press’ New Political Expert

Scott Greer Contributor
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NBC’s Meet the Press traveled into a new horizon this Sunday when it invited entertainer and rapper will.i.am to join its political discussion roundtable.

i.am, sans tie, sat with host David Gregory, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker, NBC News political director Chuck Todd, former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to talk about the issues of the week.

will.i.am shared his insights on everything from the transformation of social media to world travelling. He even “hooked up” his appearance on Meet the Press on Twitter.

“I wanted to get you to tweet that you were going to be on this morning, which you did,” Gregory told i.am.

“I hooked it up,” will.i.am said.

“Yeah, you hooked it up,” Gregory responded.

Later on in the show, the Black Eyed Peas frontman railed against the “industrial prison complex” and believes America needs to stop worrying about the War on Drugs and start a “war on education” instead.

“We grow, but the citizens aren’t growing, right? Our colleges are still the best colleges, but the people in the neighborhood I come from aren’t trying to go to MIT. They’re not thinking of Stanford or Harvard,” i.am said. “And then you look at like this industrial prison complex
where half of — actually the majority of people in prison are African and Latino, African-American and Latino. It’s like — that breaks my heart, right.”

“When it comes to like education, like America, we fought a war on drugs and lost, and all it did was put young people in jail for petty drug crimes and our prisons are overpopulated and prison guards get paid more than teachers,” will.i.am stated. “Why can’t we all agree we should fight a war on education. 8 years old to 19. Why shouldn’t STEM be mandatory? Why can’t we as a country keep all the jobs that are around technology in America? I don’t get it. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all.”

He also wants the federal government to incentivize Apple opening up shop in Detroit.

“There’s opportunity for America to make sure companies like Apple are in Detroit and we’re educating young kids at an early age to learn and be technical, digital literate. we can’t just have basketball courts in every elementary school. they need to have ios, Android. They need to be learning on Qualcomm technology and Intel technology,” the recording artist explained.

But will.i.am expressed satisfaction with the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. “It was cool. I mean, I’m used to like the Brits and the
Grammys and I’m used to, you know, a different environment. You had a lot of like, you know, politicians, celebrity-ticians.”

He unfortunately did not perform his group’s hit song “The Time” to show how much of a great time he had at the event.

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