The countdown to the United States presidential election of 2020 has begun and former hip-hop artist Sean Collinson is here to claim his spot, as an independent candidate. The idea of running for President never came across Collinson’s mind until June of 2017. After praying over his decision and giving it some thought, Collinson decided to move forward and campaign.
Collinson was born and raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York. Throughout his childhood, Collinson faced adversity however, he was able to use music as a gateway to rise against the odds and snag himself a recording contract with Epic/Tabu records mogul Clarence Avant. In 1988, Collinson performed under the rap name, “Kid Flash” with the debut song, “Hot Like Fire.”
Today, Collinson is a mediator and expert contributor on Dr. Phil, a profession that was curated by his upbringing and family challenges in Bedford-Stuyvesant. His educational background begins at Loyola Law School where he received training in mediation and litigating cases. Additionally, Collinson attended and completed the Harvard Law School Initiative Program on Negations and the Florida Supreme Court’s Certified Family Law Mediation Program. To date, he has mediated over a billion dollars in family law cases in the U.S. for some notable clients including: Bernie Williams (NY Yankees), Kristoff St. John (Young & the Restless), Alfonso Ribeiro (Fresh Prince of Bel Air), Shannon Elizabeth, Master P and “America’s Got Talent” co-star Mel B to name a few.
Given Collinson’s mediation background, many people would say, “President? Why start there? Being a mediator, why not maybe city council? Why not governor? Why not congressperson? What about the office of the presidency is making you shoot for that title?”
For Collinson, the answer to all of these questions is quite simple, God.
“I think when God is orchestrating your steps, you have to go with where the steps are being orchestrated,” said Collinson. “So this presidency, this candidacy today, is God’s will. It is the purpose of our people. We need better leadership and in this time as a mediator, [who] mediates solutions for people and families and brings them together and find agreements that they can live with, there’s not a better time than now to bring the mediator to unite the country, help the country, even inform policy, find agreements that we all can live with.”
Collinson is active in the church and is thankful for his spiritual support and relationship with Bishop Charles Blake of West Angeles Church of God in Christ. Collinson has been a member at West Angeles C.O.G.I.C. since 1995.
Hip-Hop & Politics
Hip-hop is dubbed the “child of the Civil Rights Movement,” due to the wide range of songs that cover social injustices. With this in mind, we asked Collinson his thoughts on the influence of hip-hop in the 2020 election and its effect on the current political atmosphere.
“The culture has changed, so we have all these millennials, Generation X… we have people that are going to be of age to register to vote and they got to get out and vote,” said Collinson. “One thing I realized was that people… music brought them together, and our souls are one [and] hip-hop speaks volumes.”
In regards to the current political climate, Collinson stated, “a change has to come,” which is why his campaign platform is ANewUS.
“So we know that a new America has to take place and we can’t sit idle on the sidelines, we have to get in the game. So when we think about ANewUS, [it’s] a new America for everyone and not just a few [people] in some states,” he said.
Collinson is well aware of the criticism he will receive from his opponents regarding his hip-hop background, but he is ready for the negative comments and heavy-hitting questions about his past.
“My time in hip-hop was not only the transition from urban street kid, from the hood, from the ghetto, from the slums of Brooklyn. But that was the transition to businessman and entrepreneur,” he said.
Collinson has the support and endorsement of legendary hip-hop mogul, Percy Miller better known as Master P. Both men share similar paths being hip-hop artists that evolved to become successful businessmen and entrepreneurs.
“That’s my friend and brother,” said Collinson. “I mean a lot of people don’t know but when Obama first started doing what he was doing, you know Master P was right there. I don’t think he gets enough credit for being right there. I mean, he’s someone that would give you the shirt off of his back. I mean and a marvelous dad, those kids are lucky to have a dad like that. He has Bible study at his house, he welcomed us over to Bible study. He’s a man of God.”
Both Miller and Collinson have developed a friendship beyond business but when it comes to Miller endorsing Collinson for president, Miller shared with the Sentinel that “it’s bigger than friendship.” It’s about who is right for the job and who can lead America in the right direction with “real positive spirit and integrity,” said Miller.
“The right person is going to come at the right time and you can’t pass judgement,” said Collinson. “When you pass judgement, it’s not about me, it’s about you. I love Corey Booker, I love Kamala Harris, I love Elizabeth Warren, I love what they’re doing, I love Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio–I love Cortez. So when we start talking about these names, you’ve put me in the hierarchy of some fantastic folks. I appreciate the company, but ultimately, if they’re fighting for this country, I can fight just like they can fight. I can get in the ring. This is the first time a candidate from hip-hop has entered the ring.”
During the interview, Collinson shared his agenda and the items that he plans to talk about during his run for president.
“The federal legalization of marijuana is on my platform. I have a bill that I’m working on currently MG21 which has to do with assault weapons. So we’re not saying take away guns, let’s just be clear about that, but what we are saying is that certain guns do not belong on school campuses. When students have to go to school to take a test and worry about passing or will they die today on campus we have a problem,” he said.
Collinson shared he is focused on education reform as well as prison reform. “Profiling and discrimination are close to my heart, the dreamers, DACA,” he said. “I mean, some of those people are lawyers, doctors. They’ve taken the plunge with America, they belong to be here, just like everyone else. You belong. This campaign of the do-over campaign.”
Collinson expressed excitement in starting a “do-over campaign.”
“So, I am proud that I’m not a politician, I am a mediator and my coming and my pledge is to come up with an agreement that America can live with,” said Collinson.
“Not for some, not for that state and not this state but for all Americans. If immigrants have done their part and they’re here in this country, we are the United States of America; we’re not looking in the rearview mirror to be the divided States of America.”
Collinson shared that he is a proud family man who adores his lovely wife, Randa. He is the proud father of three children, Kylie (23), Brittney (20), and Grayson (4).
To support Collinson’s presidential run for 2020, sign up to volunteer or donate at ANewsUS.org and follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at seancollinson2020.
Kimberlee Buck contributed to this article