On Tuesday January 12th, 2010 a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti just before 5pm. This earthquake was reported the most powerful to hit Haiti in a century. Hundreds of thousands of people have been reported dead and the survivors are now fighting for their life. Although this is a major tragedy, there is still hope for Haiti and a lot of it is coming from the hip-hop community. I got a chance to speak with one of hip-hop icons, Willie the Kid, and he spoke passionately about the situation.
“It’s unfortunate and there is no one to blame, it’s Gods will and it’s a good time for people to come together”, he says when asked his personal feelings on the disaster. WTK just wrapped up his first studio session working with the legendary Wyclef Jean who is Haitian-American and has been deeply affected by the turmoil in Haiti. Wyclef started a Yele, Haiti Relief Foundation and the support has been crazy, raising some 2 million dollars! “Wyclef is a friend of mine and he has ALWAYS been an advocate for Haiti. Haiti has always had his support, he’s been a supporter.” WTK has also donated money to the Yele foundation and plans on doing follow ups after Haiti is out of the limelight. When asked if there is any good that can come out the situation WTK answers, ‘It’s already good, people coming together and helping, that is the good because you want to help. I don’t care what people think, we are making an effort!’If anyone knows Willie the Kid you know that not only is he a rapper bringing original, artistic rhymes to hip hop he is also a man of the community. “Charity starts at home. I do what I can do for the neighborhood back home. Whether it’s providing incite through interviews, talking to my son, whatever. Info is the medicine inside the candy. When you give it to people you have to hide the info in there in a convenient and tactful way. They might not want the information the traditional way so I provide it with my music.”
The recovery of Haiti is going to be a very long and enduring process, but I wrote this to give those who have been affected by the earthquake hope. There are extraordinary individuals in the world who are making efforts and some of those people are the ones we all look up to. Positive leaders in hip-hop do exist and I hope this will help diminish the myth that our people don’t look out for each other. Hip Hop is helping Haiti! Pay Attention!!