Skip to main content

7 Rappers Giving Back to Their Hometowns
These artists tackle societal change in song and on the street.

SEP 4, 2016 | Gwendolyn Wu


“Music is all we got,” the Chicago Children’s Choir sings on the opening tune of Chance the Rapper’s debut album. While the lyrics promote the power of music, Chance the Rapper is working to make sure his community can rely on more than a song.

The 23-year-old Chicago native is one of many hip-hop artists who have used their platform as artists to give back to their hometowns. From helping single moms pay for groceries to mending fences between police officers and people of color, here’s how seven rappers are making a difference in their communities.


Diddy

On Aug. 29, Sean “Diddy” Combs’ charter school, Capital Preparatory Harlem School, opened for its first day of classes. “Great schools and great education make a big difference,” Combs, who was born in Harlem, New York, said during the opening event. “Unfortunately, too many people don’t get the opportunity to succeed, no matter how hard they try. This is leveling the playing field here at Capital Prep.” For its first year, the school admitted 176 students. It plans to enroll up to 700 by 2021.


Snoop Dogg

The Long Beach native led approximately 100 men of color on a march in July to Los Angeles Police Department headquarters following the officer-involved shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling and protests against police brutality. Snoop Dogg and fellow rapper The Game met with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck to talk about how to break down boundaries between officers and black men. “You cannot match hate with hate. You have to match hate with love, and that’s what we came for today,” Snoop Dogg said at a press conference.

The Game

Besides working with the LAPD on community relations, the Compton, California–born rapper started the “Yo Mama My Mama” campaign in July. The Game asked his Instagram fans to post pictures showing love for their mothers for a chance to win free groceries. “I figured with all the tragedy, all the brothers killing each other, cops killing brothers, brothers killing cops, the one thing that people care about the most, around the world, is their mothers,” The Game told TMZ. He selected Yvette Hicks, a single mother of eight, as the inaugural “Mother of the Day” and purchased a month’s worth of groceries for her and her family.

Chance the Rapper

The “Coloring Book” artist aided his hometown of Chicago over the winter by helping raise money to provide more than 1,000 insulated coats to people living on the streets. The water-resistant, self-heating coats transform into sleeping bags and have been found to reduce hypothermia deaths by 20 percent annually.
Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
ADVERTISEMENT


Big Sean

Many cities, including Big Sean’s hometown of Detroit, have slashed budgets for arts education. The musician promised students at his alma mater, Cass Technical High School, a surprise if they raised their standardized test scores. The rapper rewarded the students’ hard work by partnering with Adidas to create the Sean Anderson Studio of Infinite Possibilities, an in-school recording studio fully equipped with a mixing console, instruments, and recording software.
Photo: Mike Windle/Getty Images

J. Cole

J. Cole named an album after his childhood home in North Carolina, 2014 Forest Hills Drive. He previously lived in a trailer park, and he began experimenting with music in his room. After Cole graduated from high school, his mother lost the house on Forest Hills Dr. to foreclosure, but Cole bought it back in 2014. Rather than live there himself, he plans to allow single mothers and their children to live there rent-free. “My goal is to have that be a haven for families,” Cole said on the podcast Combat Jack Show in 2015. “The idea is that it’s a single mother with multiple kids, and she’s coming from a place where all her kids [are] sharing a room.... I want her kids to feel how I felt when we got to the house.”

Vince Staples

In June Long Beach, California–based rapper Vince Staples launched the Youth Institute, a summer program for middle school kids. Staples hopes to expand opportunities in his community, with the program teaching kids about 3-D printing, graphic design, and music production. “What I can say is, living over here my entire life, I’ve never had an opportunity given to me from the area, only examples of how to mess up and what I didn’t want to do,” Staples said at a press conference. “I want to be able to be one of the people that reinforces the fact that we matter just as much as the next person. That’s actually the biggest thing I can do for this community.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

Original Post

  I disagree with the statement "music is all we got."  That's a LIE!!!!  We have a rich history of winning against all odds where today people in many countries still struggle.  It wasn't a battle that we won....we won the focking war except that black men referred back then as eunuchs and today as "coons" never got the memo that kissing massa's ass and sniffing on his whore daughter is against our moral code as a people.  As a result?  The rest of us slid back into the pit of hell of what we have today. Black on Black killings....and Police Killings! 

Just to put it out there.....  Music wasn't all we had or got today...we have PRIDE, INTELLIGENCE, KNOWLEDGE and of course BRILLIANCE.  But we can't identity with that for the FAKE ASS black men who have covered society with the bogus notion that black people are idle, inferior still and only a "few" are different. You know human like massa.   As why we are currently in the genocide stage of America....cuz folks believed that shyte....including....BLACK PEOPLE  And to hear children say.....all we have is music is an insult to the blood, sweat and DEATH of many black slaves and black citizens who paved the way not only for our freedom but our HUMAN rights which by the way many of the new generation of black people have given it away for the price  of a pair of tennis shoes.  We as BLACK people have DROPPED the ball when our children feel that all we have left in this world?  Is a song.  How tragic for us all.  But!

Last edited by Kocolicious

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×