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A North Carolina musician used his Super Tuesday polling place as a stage

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

And outside Raleigh, N.C., one man made his Super Tuesday polling place a stage. NPR's senior White House correspondent Tamara Keith was there.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: It's 10 in the morning, and voters are trickling into a polling place in a strip mall in the suburb of Clayton, a pretty standard Super Tuesday scene until Monty Bynum pulls up wearing a sequined bomber jacket and dark glasses. He plants a black and gold yard sign amongst the red, white and blue candidate placards. It says, "King Of NC."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KING OF NC")

MONTY BYNUM: (Singing) I'm the king of NC, baby.

KEITH: It's the name of the song Bynum is hoping will give him his big break, and he's blasting it from a speaker next to his car.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KING OF NC")

BYNUM: (Singing) And y'all can't [expletive] with me.

So you can drive around, and you can see, for instance, that Jeff Sullivan is running for school board. And you can see it all around the entire town. And so if he does that single-handedly with his yard signs for politics, I thought, why could I not do that single-handedly with my yard signs for my album?

KEITH: Bynum is a 23-year-old R&B artist who's been performing since he was a kid. His cousin, Petey Pablo, made a name for himself as a rapper in the early 2000s, and he appears on Bynum's album.

BYNUM: If you guys like this music, I'm Petey Pablo's cousin.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Oh, cool. OK.

BYNUM: And you can listen to it on the radio.

KEITH: There are dedicated volunteers here handing out campaign flyers, and then there's Bynum passing out cards with a QR code to hear his album.

BYNUM: If you guys like Bruno Mars, if you like Usher, Chris Brown, Michael Jackson...

KEITH: Some people stop, others cut a wide berth. At one point, Bynum takes a break to go cast his own ballot. Kelly Bradshaw is here to support a friend who's running for school board.

KELLY BRADSHAW: He started playing his music, and it had a good vibe. So we've all kind of been out here jamming, like, while we're handing out cards.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KING OF NC (REMIX FT. PETEY PABLO)")

PETEY PABLO: (Rapping) Live life to the fullest. Look where life took us.

KEITH: A bit of joy in a strip mall parking lot on primary day.

Tamara Keith, NPR News, Clayton, N.C.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KING OF NC (REMIX FT. PETEY PABLO)")

BYNUM: (Singing) I'm the king of NC, baby. Yeah, I'm the king of NC, baby. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Tamara Keith
Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.