1-2-3, Rappers give back to charities

1-2-3, Rappers give back to charities
2016-07-06 15:22:35 UTC
CELEBRITIES MUSIC MORE ENTERTAINMENT

Hip-hop doesn’t always have the best reputation. Blame it on a few vulgar lyrics. Sometimes it’s antics off the stage. Maybe it’s a disastrous interview. And other times the criticism is undeserved altogether.

Regardless of the anti-hip-hop gripes, too many artists are overlooked for their philanthropy. That doesn’t mean they stop giving back though.

Check out what 28 top rappers are doing to support their fans and community:

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50 Cent: With a goal to feed 1 billion African children by 2016, he used profits from his energy drink, Street King, to do so. 

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Chance the Rapper: The Windy City native is responsible for helping to raise $60K in 10 days for Chicago's homeless.

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Common: Common Ground Foundation has mentoring programs, summer camps, a partnership with the Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative and job-training programs for Chicago's underserved youth. 

Recommended Reading: "Common's in 'Control' at Best Buy signing event" (alternate link)

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Da Brat: Along with singers Jagged Edge and Demetria McKinney, the former So So Def rapper performed for the Hosea Feed the Hungry Homeless' "I Hope for U Initiative" to raise awareness about Atlanta's homeless. 

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Dana “Queen Latifah” Owens: The Queens rapper donated $5,000 to fundraising site CrowdtitIt to a homeless father of eight, after the father's home was destroyed in a fire. This resulted in over $33K being raised to help the family get back on their feet.

Recommended Reading: "Makeup for brown girls: Kelly Rowland joins celebs in starting makeup lines

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David Banner: David Banner has done a surplus of charity work with his organization, Heal the Hood, including Christmas toy and clothing drives.

Recommended Reading: "Rapper David Banner talks politics, race, criminal justice system, music and more

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Diddy:
Diddy and Jay Z donated $1 million to help Hurricane Katrina victims. Diddy has also donated $250K to The Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship, Helping The Youth. 

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Drake:
The Toronto native donated $75K to build a recording studio in Meek Mill's hometown, Philadelphia, at Strawberry Mansion High School. He also teamed up with Hot 97 to donate Christmas gifts to a Staten Island teen, Deandre Bloomfield, who was bullied and badly burned by another teen at a setup disguised as a get-together. 

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Dr. Dre:
In addition to donating $70 million to the University of Southern California's new undergraduate arts program, he also donated all of the royalties from the "Compton" album to a new performing arts and entertainment facility in Compton.

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Eve:
The Philly native partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters to help raise awareness for mentorships for men of color. At one point, she also had a Philadelphia-based foundation called Love Is Blind to help aid domestic violence victims. In 2016, she became a goodwill ambassador for Malaika, a Congo education and health foundation. 

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Ice Cube: Autographed Cube artwork resulted in portions of proceeds being sent to Los Angeles County AIDS/HIV nonprofit organization Minority AIDS Project. 

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Jay Z: Seventy-seven percent of Shawn Carter Foundation recipients come from single-parent households, and 64 percent are first-generation college students. He and wife/singer Beyonce have also donated $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter and partnered with Diddy to donate $1 million to Hurricane Katrina victims.

Recommended Reading: "Beyonce's BeyGOOD donates over $82K to Flint for water crisis

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J. Cole: The Dreamville Foundation has had a back-to-school supply giveaway, Young Men's Book Club and Appreciation Dinner, a Mother's Day brunch and a "Nobody's Perfect" writing contest. Big Sean: As an alumnus of Cass Technical High School, Big Sean unveiled a recording studio for the school's music students.

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Kanye West: Donda's House, the charitable organization named after his mother, is an arts and music program in at-risk communities. The "Got Bars" helps participants engage in open mics, rap battles and writing. 

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Kendrick Lamar: The Compton native has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for sports, after-school and music programs. Top Dawg Entertainment also organized a clothing drive for the homeless in downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row neighborhood. Electronics were also donated to a homeless shelter, Union Rescue Mission.

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Killer Mike: Of the $40K raised from Jewel Runners & Meow The Jewels Kickstarter pledgers, the funds were given equally to the families of Eric Garner and Michael Brown Jr. Remaining funds went to the National Lawyers Guild's Mass Defense Committee, who defend political activists. 

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Lil Wayne: Although he's not thrilled with the idea of publishing his charitable work, he didn't successfully sneak under the radar after donating $200K to help rebuild a New Orleans park after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster. The park was later featured in his "Ball" music video.

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Ludacris: For over a decade, the Atlanta rapper has held a Ludacrismas event, which includes a nationwide Christmas event for kids and a toy giveaway. Part of the LudaCares Initiative, the event includes food, game, Santa, the Gingerbread Man and more for family friendly holiday fun. 

Recommended Reading: "Ludacrismas was very merry on West side" (alternate link)

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MC Lyte: As the founder of Hip Hop Sister Network, she's donated $100K to help students via the MC Lyte/First Wave scholarship. FLOTUS Michelle Obama chose her as the first female rapper in history to perform at the White House and talk about the foundation.

Recommended Reading: "MC Lyte still a rock in the rap industry" (alternate link)

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Meek Mill: The Philly native donated 60K water bottles and $50K to Flint, Michigan to aid in their waiter crisis.

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Missy Elliott: Missy was the first hip-hop artist to perform at the all-female tour festival for Lilith Fair, a charity that raises millions for breast cancer and AIDS research.

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Nas: The Queens rapper donated $5,000 to fundraising site CrowdtitIt to a homeless father of eight, after the father's home was destroyed in a fire. This resulted in over $33K being raised to help the family get back on their feet.

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Nicki Minaj: The Trinidadian-born rapper donated $15K to the Food Bank of New York City on a Thanksgiving holiday.

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Pharrell: From One Hand To AnOTHER (FOHTA) is his 501(c)(3) nonprofit program to help students improve in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Motivation (S.T.E.A.M.M.).

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The Game: The Game donated $500K and 1 million water bottles to Flint, Michigan to help residents after the water crisis. 

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Wyclef Jean: Although the Haitian rapper came under scrutiny for his charitable organization Yele Haiti, a CNN reporter concluded that "tax experts say it's routine for individuals to charge their own charities." Yele Haiti spent $138,000 on disaster relief; $140,000 on food; and $460,000 on two outdoor concerts to promote the arts and culture. 

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Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def): In addition to performing for the Heart Fund's Generous People Dinner Gala in Cannes, he also put his own physical health on the line. In a 2013 video, he exposed how dangerous and inhumane it is to force-feed prisoners who were on hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay.



Sources: American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Billboard, Chicago Defender, CNN Money, Collective Evolution, Contact Music, Daily Mail, Detroit News, Donda’s House, E Online, FOHTA, Fox Business, Heal the Hood, Hill Harper Foundation, Hip Hop DX, IBTimes, Index Magazine, KickStarter, Lil Wayne HQ, Look to the Stars, Los Angeles Times, MC Lyte Now, MTV, Music for Good, New York Daily News, NME, People, Radio, Rolling Stone, Shawn Carter Foundation, Sweet Candor TV,  The Dreamville Foundation, The Mark News, The Root and The Root 2, The Urban Daily, Vlad TV