Along with the release of Forbes Hip-Hop Cash King list, it’s interesting to see which rappers are using their wealth to do good.
Earlier this month, Styles P and Jadakiss announced their plan to launch a chain of healthy juice bars in low-income neighborhoods. No doubt this is a special way to give back, but this kind of work is also not uncommon in hip-hop. In 2015 alone, a bunch of rappers have done their part to help their neighborhoods in unconventional ways.
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Charitable Papi! Back in March, Drake funded the building of a recording studio at a Philadelphia high school. The rapper donated $75,000 to Strawberry Mansion High to help create the space. He also held his second annual Houston Appreciation Weekend this summer, which assists non-profit organizations as they carry out missions within the Houston community.
Chance is a busy guy. This year, he announced his first “Open Mike” night with the Chicago Cultural Center, which is meant to serve as a creative outlet for the city’s youth. Since then, Kanye West and Vic Mensa have made special appearances at the bi-monthly event. He also organized this summer’s Teens in the Park Festival, a free concert featuring his band The Social Experiment and Kendrick Lamar. Plus, he took a group of kids on a field trip to a museum.
Detroit native Big Sean promised his old high school that he would return and “do something big” if they raised their ACT scores. This year, he made good on that promise, along with the help of Adidas, by opening a recording studio within Cass Technical High School.
In addition to naming his album after his childhood home, J. Cole also decided to transform 2014 Forest Hills Drive into a safe haven for single mothers. For two years, a single mother and her family will be able to stay at the house in Fayetteville, North Carolina rent-free. Now that’s dope.
It’s no secret that Dr. Dre is basically rolling in dough. The producer slash rapper slash billionaire recently announced that he will donate the artist royalties from his new album, Compton: A Soundtrack By Dr. Dre, toward the construction of a community center in the city.
In honor of the 10th anniversary of Thug Motivation: 101, Jeezy celebrated in a big way with a sold-out concert and star-studded dinner. But don’t get it twisted: he also gave back. Jeezy teamed up with an Atlanta councilwoman to host a clean-up of the city’s District 4. He also relaunched his charity, Street Dreamz Foundation.
The annual LudaDay Weekend is known to draw big names for its festivities, which include a celebrity basketball game, a golf tournament, and endless parties. But its purpose is much bigger than the turn-up surrounding the weekend. Organized by The Ludacris Foundation, the event gives back to Atlanta through fundraising, panel discussions, and more.
Sometimes, it’s the little things. After hearing that a 9th grade teacher had worked To Pimp A Butterfly into his curriculum, Kendrick Lamar decided to pay a surprise visit. The rapper unexpectedly stopped by the high school in New Jersey, and participated in a panel where he offered critiques to student work. He also performed his single “Alright.” And remember when he took to the streets of LA to put on a surprise concert on the back of a moving truck?