To counter the attacks and criticisms of HipHop I wanted to do something showing people that there is more to HipHop, Than what we are fed by the mainstream. With the recent controversy around lyrics from Lil Wanye about Emmett Till and Rape lyrics from Rick Ross has put the HipHop culture and community in the spot light but not in a positive manner.
I interviewed a HipHop based organization. To show that HipHop is alive, doing well, and making a positive difference, impact and change in the world. Here’s the Interview with Konata J Director Hip Hop Gives Back
PX: What is HipHop Gives Back?
KJ: There are two components that make up Hip Hop Gives Back.
HipHopGivesBack.org is our non profit foundation that is dedicated to investing into the lives of individuals and their communities by offering services and programs that will impact current and future generations through fundraising, awareness, mentorship, and education under our F.A.M.E. pillars. We lead these programs and initiatives throughout the year that provide us and our partners with the opportunity of “Giving Back and Building Up”.
HipHopGivesBack.com is the site that works in conjunction of our non-profit that highlights the positive aspects of the Hip Hop culture. A majority of the time the negative occurrences in Hip Hop are what gets promoted by mainstream media and other outlets and the positive news gets neglected. We choose to do the opposite by providing awareness of positive news and events and by highlighting artists, entertainers, athletes, activitsts, community organizers that are a part of Hip Hop, companies and entities of the culture that give back to people and communities. We are the “Home of Hip Hop’s Humanitarians”.
PX: I was on your website and seen a good number of health related articles. Why is health something that HHGB feels is important for people to know about?
KJ: Hip Hop Gives Back recently initiated our first annual Hip Hop Health Awareness Month for the month of April. One of Hip Hop’s founding pillars was to help and uplift the community. Raising awareness about the variety of health issues that affect members of the Hip-Hop community and their fans and supporters may lead to cures, treatments or at the least provide inspiration for those who may have the same health issue as the people that are highlighted on the site. The health stories we highlight serve to provide education and to let the readersknow how members of the Hip Hop community have been affected directly by the various ailments. Their story on how they battled, persevered, overcame or in some cases sadly, succumbed to the illness they were dealing with. We provide links for to find more information about each health topic that is covered and discussed.
PX: I recently had a conversation with a woman who said Hip Hop is all Misogyny, glorifying drug dealing, killing. Do you have any solutions to breaking the negative reinforcements and stereotypes of HipHop?
KJ: One of the ways we can start to move toward change is by supporting artists and projects that make music contrary to the subjects she spoke of. Hip Hop music today is presented in various forms that include speaking life, spreading love, upliftment, celebration and knowledge of self and community. These are the content of the songs that can be supported and requested to represent the true and balanced story of what Hip Hop music will be presented to the masses. This subject matter has always been around in Hip Hop and we are currently in an avant garde music subject shift in which lyrical content and varying subject matter is being moved to the forefront. I’m not naive to believe that misogyny, drug dealing or other heinous topics will stop being the subject of all Hip Hop songs but the balance is what is needed ASAP!
PX: Is America Ready for a HipHop Party? (A Hiphop political party, just like you have the dems, repubs, tea party, Green Party)
KJ: Now more than ever its essential for the fans, supporters and members of the Hip Hop community to organize and focus our voice and voting power. The number of issues that affect us all continues to increase day after day and our needs are not being met sufficiently. Hip Hop’s impact can be felt from pop culture,to the effect on economies throughour buying power, to federal and state laws, to science and technology. The Hip Hop community has the ability to influence the presidential election as we’ve seen in voter turnout for the last 3 elections but more importantly for local and state elections. This is where the focus needs to be placed where immediate results can be seen and change and growth can continue. I’d like to introduce an idea to work with Hip Hop Gives Back, The Hip Hop Party, #HipHopEd, 99 Problems.org, RapSessions and a several other key organizations and contributors to harness and mobilize the Hip Hop voice to have our shared agenda addressed.
PX: Any current or future projects that we should look out for?
KJ: Definitely, we are proud to be one of the sponsors of the 2nd Annual Black Man Can Awards (#BMCAwards) which recognizes the accomplishments within the community and professional arenas, the awards will honor black men and boys in more than 12 categories who embody the definition of a positive black male. We also have mentoring and speaking engagements on-going throughout the year, our quarterly volunteer clean-up initiative in Atlanta and this December we return with our flagship event, the Battle Of The Charities 5 on 5 Basketball tournament in which one charity will receive over $1500 in prize money.
PX: How can people get involved wit HHGB?
KJ: You can submit stories, events or news of the Hip Hop community giving back on Contact Us form that is at the bottom of the home page of www.hiphopgivesback.com
To donate funds to our Non-Profit Foundation – HipHopGivesBack.Orgvisit
We’re always accepting applications for volunteers in a variety of roles. The submission form can be found at
Follow HipHop Gives Back and Konata on twitter