Despite the tension among the nation regarding police brutality, a number of rappers have collaborated this holiday season in order to bring smiles to the faces of families in their communities, even if these smiles are temporary.
The DMV was well taken care of by lyrical powerhouse Wale and John Wall floor general for the Washington Wizards. These gentleman gathered their resources and brought a bit of happiness to a few local kids.
The King Of The South took his royal reign to the west coast this holiday season. Along with proud Crenshaw representer and fiery spitter Nipsey Hussle, T.I. delivered gifts and donations to the 5th Annual Free Food and Toy Giveaway at Crenshaw High School.
Continuing in the spirit of giving back to the community, left coast collective TDE passed out toys to the youth and capped off the evening with a free concert at Nickerson Gardens Projects in the city off Watts, California. The spectacular six emcees from the TDE powerhouse were all present: Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad, SZA, Kendrick Lamar, & Ab-Soul. The label’s CEO, recounted the event as one of the, “top 5 moments in [his] life”. HiiiPower indeed.
Still riding the momentum of one of the hottest yet under appreciated albums of 2014, “My Krazy Life”, YG corralled a number of local youth and treated them to a shopping spree at a local Lakewood, California shopping mall. This was in conjunction with his non-profit foundation, 4Hundred Waze. The artist born Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson is proud of his Compton upbringing, and when asked of his show of generosity, he stated, “I’m gonna give them all a gift card with $120 or more on there and I’m gonna let them spend it in whatever stores they want……Its a blessing ya feel me? My city been supporting me; I made it out, so I feel like I gotta give back.”
It was Snowman season this winter, and Jeezy made sure his presence was felt in the city. No stranger to giving back to those less fortunate, as evident by his charity founded in 2001, the Street Dreams Foundation. This year, not only did Jeezy sponsor the bill for 100 kids to see the new rendition of Annie, but he made sure they left with $10,000 worth of Christmas gifts and a lunch at Glo’s. While he is known as the Snowman in the city, when it comes to his community, Jeezy evidently has a very warm heart.
Another southern powerhouse, Ludacris shows up at the Children’s hospital in Atlanta and brought a bit of holiday cheer to those who we not able to be in the comfort of their homes for the holidays. Birthed Chris Bridges, the emcee, actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist did not come empty handed. His not for profit foundation, the Ludacris Foundation came with coats, gifts, and laughter in tow. The giving spirit was so large that the event stretched over two days. Lots of love was spread.
Other hip-hop artists that spread the holiday cheer far and wide included Future & 2 Chainz from Atlanta, Meek Mill in Philly, & Jadakiss in Yonkers. I commend these rappers for stepping outside of themselves and showing support for the communities that have supported them when they initially needed it in their careers, and still do. Sadly, a number of artists make contributions such as these regularly, and for no apparent reason, yet these happenings rarely reach the front page of your local news outlets. Community service is very important, as it makes you rich. Not in your pockets, but rich in spirit. I encourage you to give back around your community because you feel it within, and also, to continue to shine a light on the artists that do. These are some of the most influential role models in the eyes of our youth, and we want them to develop strong moral character at a young age. Do your part, and encourage others to do the same.
By: Darius “DJ” Jackson