Music

How Hip-Hop Artists Are Trying To Make A Difference During The Pandemic

In America alone, 30 million people have filed unemployment claims in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Establishments are closed (for the most part), and people need help. Hip-hop artists like Cardi B, Kanye West, Eminem, Jay-Z and Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, and many more have stepped up with fundraisers, donations, and other good deeds to assist those in need.

Here’s a look at just some of their efforts:

Cardi B

Cardi B may have been a bit skeptical about the coronavirus at the outset of its arrival in the US, but she’s still giving back. In April, she donated 20,000 bottles of the OWYN plant-based meal supplement drink to healthcare workers in her native New York. Later that month, the Bronx rapper teamed with fashion brand FashionNova for the #FashionNovaCARES initiative, which is giving away $1 million dollars, or $1,000 every hour until May 20. to people affected by the pandemic. She also gave proceeds from iMarkkeyz’ catchy “Coronavirus” single (which sampled her) to relief efforts.

Eminem

Eminem referenced two of his biggest hits in his relief efforts. A week ago, his Marshall Mathers foundation teamed with Detroit catering service Union Joints to distribute tubs of “Mom’s Spaghetti” to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the crisis. The spaghetti is a reference to a famous line in his “Lose Yourself” track. He’s also auctioning off a pair of his Jordan 4 Retro Eminem Carhartt sneakers for the for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. While announcing the initiative on Instagram, he said he was “Cleanin’ out my closet.”

Drake

Drake contributed to the #AllInChallenge, which is imploring celebrities to enter items in an auction supporting charities such as Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry. The Toronto rapper offered a lucky auction participant a weekend party package, which includes VIP treatment at LA nightspot Delilah and a ride on his private jet.

Kanye West

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Flashback

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In April, Kanye West worked with We Women Empowered and The Dream Center to donate thousands of meals to affected families in his hometown of Chicago and his current home base of LA. Josephine Wade of We Women Empowered noted to Access Online that, “today when I got that call, that Kanye West wanted to help the elderly in Chicago and he chose his hometown in the South Side, his old neighborhood, I was beyond words.”

2 Chainz

Georgia governor Brian Kemp made the controversial decision to loosen restrictions on Georgia businesses, which laid the way for shops like Killer Mike’s barbershop and 2 Chainz’ Escobar Restaurant and Tapas to re-open. Both artists decided they weren’t re-opening their establishments, and 2 Chainz actually used the restaurant to feed 120 people experiencing homelessness a meal. His Tru foundation also donated 200 McDonalds meals to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Meek Mill

Meek Mill and Jay-Z’s Reform Alliance sent 100,000 masks to American jails and prisons, where the pandemic is ravaging people who literally have nowhere to go to escape it. He also contributed to the #allinchallenge by offering his 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom to a lucky winner.

Post Malone

Genrebender Post Malone embraced his rock roots by getting up with legendary drummer Travis Barker and performing a Nirvana tribute on YouTube live stream. The fundraising concert grossed $4.3 million dollars, and Google doubled the first $2.5 million in contributions, bringing the total contributions to $9.3 million for The United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for The World Health Organization (WHO).

Megan Thee Stallion & Beyoncé

Houstonites Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion stopped the world on Wednesday with the swaggering remix to Meg’s “Savage” track. The song may kick off a savage summer for women (if we actually get to go outside), and the proceeds are going to the Bread Of Life, a Houston-area disaster relief organization feeding Houston families during the pandemic. Earlier in the month, she had the #HealthcareHotties and #HottiesAtHome hashtags trending on Twitter while sending disadvantaged people money via cash app.

Diddy

The big news a week or so ago was that Diddy and Jennifer Lopez reunited during Diddy’s live stream Dance-A-Thon. But lost in the hysteria was the reality that the Dance-A-Thon was a fundraiser that raised over $3 million for healthcare workers in underserved areas all over the country.

Pitbull

Pitbull raised some eyebrows in April with a pretty vague Twitter response to the pandemic, but there was no confusion about the affirming “I Believe That We Will Win,” a rousing song he released earlier last month. The proceeds from the song benefit organizations like Feeding America and the Tony Robbins Foundation, according to Billboard.

Hip-Hop Loves NY

Some of New York’s finest came together for the Universal Hip-Hop Museum and Mass Appeal’s Hip-Hop Loves NY benefit concert, which featured legendary acts like Nas, Ice-T, Wu-Tang Clan, Chuck D of Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, De La Soul, and Kurtis Blow performing for over three hours on YouTube and other social media platforms. Billboard reports that the concert’s proceeds went to SOMOS Community Care, a network of nearly 2,500 health care providers for Medicaid members in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. It also helped The Bronx Community Relief Effort in their efforts to raise $10 million for the hard-hit Bronx, which has lost many people including local legend Fred The Godson.

DJ D-Nice

For the past two months, DJ D-Nice’s Club Quarantine has had many houses jumpin’ with his marathon DJ sets. In April, he collaborated with MTV’s #AloneTogether campaign to relaunch the Club MTV series and create Club MTV Presents #DanceTogether with D-Nice. Viewers of the DJ sets are urged to donate to The Save The Music Foundation, which, according to a press release, is “working rapidly to ensure students in underserved communities severely impacted by this pandemic, particularly New York, Los Angeles, Newark, and New Orleans, have access to remote music education.”

Birdman

Rap legend Birdman further cemented his reverence in New Orleans with his offer to “pay everybody rent for [the] month of May (for those who in need} [in the area] of Uptown New Orleans where I was born and raised.” Birdman’s offer is a noble gesture that will be much appreciated in the hard-hit city.

Kodak Black

Kodak Black is currently incarcerated as the American prison population is facing a hellish experience during the pandemic. Still, the young, controversial artist is looking to give back. In March, he donated books and essential school supplies for over 600 students in his native Broward County.

BET Fundraiser

On April 22nd, BET aired Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort which featured guests like DJ Khaled, Kelly Rowland, Chance The Rapper, Fantasia, Kirk Franklin, and more participating in the United Way fundraiser.

CDQ

Coronavirus is a world plague, and artists from all over the world are doing their part to ease the burden during the pandemic. Count Nigerian artist CDQ as a model landlord, as he provided rent relief to his tenants in Nigeria.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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