A surprising celebrity has come forward in support of the Yes campaign ahead of the Voice referendum, stirring up a strong response from both camps.
There are just three weeks left before the nation votes to decide whether the constitution should be altered to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
“I’m with you. Australia it’s time. Repair the breach. #Yes2023,” US rapper MC Hammer said in a post shared to X, formerly known as Twitter, at about 4.30am on Thursday morning (local time).
The Bay area resident admitted he didn’t know what the Voice referendum was until one of his 3.1 million followers alerted him to the event in a post to the platform earlier that day.
“Australia has no treaty with its Indigenous people, and has done little in comparison to other British dominions like Canada, New Zealand and the United States to include and uplift its First Nations people,” he said.
He then quoted one of the central faces of the YES campaign, human rights lawyer Professor Megan Davis who said the Voice will give more recognition to indigenous populations around the world.
“A successful referendum will set a precedent that will be “really useful for other indigenous populations around the world in relation to recognition,” she said.
The show of support appears to have stirred up an emotional reaction from Australians who quickly started providing the rapper with some context to the Voice debate.
The posts started to gain traction with some of the biggest defenders and opposers of the Voice vote, including One Nation senator Pauline Hanson in the No Camp and musician Senator Briggs in the Yes camp.
Ms Hanson expressed her confusion at why the support of US celebrities was an indicator of success, reminding her followers that the vote is an Australian referendum.
“Once again, Yes supporters seem bizarrely obsessed with getting attention from US celebrities,” Ms Hanson said in a post to X.
“This isn’t a US election, this is an Australian referendum.”
However, MC Hammer – whose legal name is Stanley Burrell – seemed unbothered by the barrage of messages and spent most of the day affirming his support of the Yes campaign.
Overnight, Australian music legend Kamahl announced a sensational backflip on the issue just days after throwing his support behind the No campaign.
“I‘m damned if Vote YES and I’ll be damned if I Vote NO,” the Sounds of Goodbye artist wrote in a post to X.
“Having spent sleepless nights weighing the pros and cons, I’ll be damned and I’ll Vote YES!”
The 88-year-old star had earlier encouraged his followers to vote No in the referendum by charging the lyrics to John Farnham’s song You’re the Voice, the official anthem of the Yes campaign.
“What’s the Voice, I just don’t understand it. It’s just noise and it’s not clear. Vote no-o-oh-oh, o-o-o,” he said.
“We’re not going to vote Apartheid. We don’t want one race privilege. Vote no-o-oh-oh.
“I’m voting NO because I don’t understand it”.
The Voice Referendum will take place on October 14.