Hip Hop With A Heart: DMV Raises 30K For Haiti
Pharrell Williams, a native of Virginia and one half of the super production duo, The Neptunes, once said,” Wealth is of the heart and mind. Not of the pocket.” He could not be anymore right. Thousands made history in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area recently, wearing their hearts on their sleeves with open wallets in tow to be a part of one very special night, all in the name of helping the people of Haiti.
The “DMV Helps Haiti Benefit Concert” took place at the historic 9:30 Club in Washington, DC Monday night, impressively raising over $30,000 for relief and rebuilding efforts for Haiti. The 9:30 Club donated its venue free of charge as its employees donated their wages and volunteered their time to help with the night. All proceeds collected from ticket, auction and drink sales, and service fees, went towards the relief efforts in Haiti. All proceeds specifically went to the Yéle Haiti Foundation, the non-profit organization of acclaimed singer and humanitarian Wyclef Jean, and to the Partners in Health Organization.
The event started out as a simple tweet via the vastly popular site, Twitter and evolved into a massive night of hip hop, talent, and charity. The idea was birthed by young entrepreneur Yodit Gebreyes, and brought to fruition by public relations guru Candice Mackel and other noble young professionals. The concert had an extraordinary line-up featuring the best of emcees and singers representing the DMV area, along with some surprise guests. All those who performed and made appearances did so, free of charge.
The momentous event showcased a one of a kind exhibit of DMV hip hop artistry and humanity, headlined by rap sensation Wale. It was delightfully hosted by Chris Cole of BET’s College Hill: South Beach as 93.9 WKYS’s DJ Alizay proved himself as the best DJ in the DMV as he manned the 1’s and 2’s throughout the night. Renowned painter, Demont Pinder better known as Peekaso, brilliantly conceptualized and painted rare pieces onstage as the audience looked on while artists performed. His paintings were then auctioned off with all monies going towards relief efforts.
The confident and dynamic Wale rocked his Nike boots, as he excitingly surpassed the original 15 minutes he was designated to headline, performing an entire set of favorites including “Nike Boots,” “Chillin,” “Let It Loose,” and “Pretty Girls.” He proudly embraced his DC musical roots performing with singer Weensey from the legendary DC go-go band, Backyard Band.
Songstress Paula Campbell was the “First Lady” of the evening as she was the only female performer of the night. Campbell shared her beautiful voice, singing a few songs including her catchy “Hitlist,” written by Keri Hilson, and “Ain’t Nobody Stupid,” penned by R&B sensation Ne-Yo. The revolutionary emcee, Black Cobain showcased his powerful lyricism, reminding us he’s not a politician but a musician.
Northeast DC’s Tabi Bonney literally put the audience in his pocket, performing hits such as “The Pocket,” “Beat Rock,” and “Rich Kids;” blowing everyone away with an electrifying performance featuring dance troupe, The Beat Ya Feet Kings of MTV’s America’s Next Dance Crew. R&B crooner Raheem DeVaughn made a surprise appearance, serenading our minds with socially conscious hits, such as his noteworthy, “Bulletproof.” DeVaughn also appeared alongside his fresh new artist, Phil Ade who is signed to his label 368 Music Group. Phil Ade performed his hit “Hollywood,” from his latest mixtape, Starting Off JV.
Inner Loop Records’ very own K-Beta ripped the stage baring his heart and soul during his performance. He performed well-liked tracks such as “Surrender” and “K-Beta State of Mind.” He even blessed the crowd with the premiere of “Black Business,” from his newest mixtape, Inglorious Beta which drops April 1st. The energetic and vibrant “Mr. Lookie Looky,” DC Don Juan performed to utter pandemonium as ladies screamed at the top of their lungs to him professing his self-love via the very catchy ‘”Lookie Looky.”
The super cool and hyper prolific emcee, XO of Studio43 performed a slew of his best on wax, including his newest club banger, “Take Home” featuring Raheem DeVaughn. Kingpen Slim rocked the crowd and beamed them up, performing tracks from his mixtape, The Beam Up such as “Phatter Than You” and “Get Money.” Nationally acclaimed radio host and entrepreneur Kenny Burns, Rev Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, and numerous DMV politicians, made appearances and showed their support.
DrJays.com Live’s very own Madame C donated $1,200, purchasing a one of a kind painting done by Peekaso via the live auction portion of the concert. The painting was done during Wale’s performance.
Many have argued that hip hop is dead; this may in fact not be the case. She might just be living in the DMV, alive and well. Nonetheless, Monday night’s “DMV Helps Haiti Benefit Concert” only proved that the power of hip hop is unwavering and her possibilities are endless.
DrJays.com Live wants to commend the DMV and their impressive efforts. We commend all individuals who take the initiative to be agents for change and help to make our world a better place through creative mediums. Anyone can make a difference if they put their mind to it.
More pictures from “DMV Helps Haiti Benefit Concert” can be seen here.