10 Rappers Who Gave Back in 2013
There's no doubt hip-hop's major talents have big money in their wallets, but we don't always get to hear about their big hearts. Often cast in a showy light with the latest jewelry, foreign cars, clothes and eye candy by their side, their good deeds sometimes go unnoticed -- especially when arrests and beef are always grabbing headlines. In 2013, rappers from Jay Z to Kendrick Lamar have all found ways to help those in need despite their busy schedules. Check out 10 Rappers Giving Back in 2013.
Since veteran rapper Jay Z has five passports as he boasts in his song ‘Otis,’ he sees the value in giving the future generation an opportunity to get a taste of the international lifestyle. Jigga flew four well-deserving college students to their study abroad destination of choice for his inaugural Shawn Carter Foundation-Gilman International Scholarships this year. Connecticut College student Laquisha Springer, 21, who studied in Copenhagen, Denmark as part of the program, said she was grateful for Jay’s generosity. “It makes me proud… to know that someone who is relatively close to my age and someone I can relate to who’s had to struggle to get to where he is, that he’s investing in my future,” she told Diverse Education.
As a Los Angeles native, Dr. Dre gave money back to his city with the help of his business partner Jimmy lovine. Together, they made a huge $70 million donation to the University of Southern California. The money will go towards a new degree program that gives students a combined curriculum of business, marketing, product development, design and liberal arts. This new effort was created in the hopes of hiring future workers for their next joint venture Beats Music, a streaming music service that will debut in 2014.
Before their daughter North West’s arrival in June, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian were already receiving gifts from family, friends and fans who wanted to show love to the couple’s new addition. But instead of keeping all of the presents, mom and dad donated them to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The hospital extended “…its sincerest gratitude to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for their thoughtfulness and support of the hospital." The funds were directed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Fund, which helps care for the hospital’s “most critically ill babies and their families.”
Kendrick Lamar is familiar with being the center of attention on tour and at award shows, but in May, he held a leading role off the music map as a principal for a day. The 'good kid, m.A.A.d. city' creator served as the school leader at a high school in Providence, R.I. Lamar spoke to almost 1,000 students during the day. “Without education you don’t have anything,” he told them. He also dropped gems on a gym full of middle school students in Bethel, Alaska in September. Both of the events were made possible through the Get Schooled Foundation.
In May, Swizz Beatz held his annual Bronx Charter School for the Arts fundraiser. Swizz called up one of his good friends Birdman and asked him to make a donation. "Anything for you homie... $10,000, $40,000, $50,000, whatever works for you," Birdman said to the producer. Swizz of course agreed to the highest offer of $50,000 and just like that, a good deed was done.
Hampton University student Lauren Pryor was able to continue her education through a generous $25,000 scholarship courtesy of Wale. Pryor won the money after calling into Norfolk hip-hop radio station 103 JAMZ in June. The rap star later flew her to New York City to attend his 'The Gifted' album listening session, where he rewarded her with the check.
When Nas saw a news report about Stanley Young, an unemployed construction worker and single father of eight children who lost his home in a fire, the rapper wanted to reach out to lend a hand. But he also had other hands chip in. Nas was able to help raise more than $60,000 through online fundraising efforts. This generous activity has given Young and his family the money to buy a new home. “The happy ending we created for the Young's can be the beginning of something bigger for our communities, and for single parents down on their luck all across the country,” wrote Nas on the CrowdTilt page.
J. Cole made hundreds of students in his hometown of Fayetteville, N.C., excited for the new school year during his school supplies giveaway in late August. Through his Dreamville Foundation, the 'Born Sinner' rapper provided students with new backpacks, notebooks, paper and pens. He also encouraged them as they got ready to take on the academic year. "It's always the worst to be at school on the first day and not have what you need. We want to give kids confidence and help them be prepared for the school year," J. Cole said to the Fayetteville Observer.
While Game was in Australia, he met an African teenager who told him a story of hardship that touched the West Coast rapper’s heart. He gave the youth a $20 Australian bill -- all the money he had on him at the time -- and said he couldn’t shake the feeling that he didn’t have more to offer. So he decided he would give away $1 million of his own money to those in need across the world -- all by Christmas. The Robin Hood Project is the official name of his big-hearted crusade. So far he has paid for funerals and hospital bills for those in need. Celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Khloe Kardashian have gotten involved in his mission to help others as well.
During his annual LudaDay Weekend, Ludacris gave $20,000 to his alma mater Benjamin Banneker High School for an initiative called Live Real Change, which will help fund the resources needed in classrooms to educate students through their non-for-profit partner, Adopt-A-Classroom. He also recently signed on to The Real Change Project Season 2, a platform through which he aims to emphasize the importance of education to achieve your dreams. Since 2001, the ATL rapper has invested in the lives of youth through the Ludacris Foundation.