Rapper plans to keep raising money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
David Banner is
not happy. The rapper, who hails from Jackson, Mississippi, has been
devoting much of his time to raising money for the people whose lives
were devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and he’s a bit perturbed that the
media has been lessthan supportive.
“It upset me because I felt like people should have seen more about it,” he said backstage at the Vibe Awards. “Now if I was beefing with somebody or shot somebody, it would be all over the marquee everywhere.”
So far, Banner has become a true hometown hero, having raised more than
$500,000 in funds for Gulf Coast relief with his nonprofit Heal the
Hood Foundation, which aims to provide aid to the nation’s poorest
neighborhoods. He says he still receives calls frequently from folks
wanting to offer donations, like 50 Cent and the G-Unit, who recently
gave $30,000 worth of clothes to be handed out. Still, his efforts have
received very little coverage.
“To be a young black male and be able to pull off something with 17 of
the greatest [hip-hop] artists ever and then not really get the full
[exposure] to really show other young black males what you can do for
your own community, it was sort of blow,” he explained.
Nelly, T.I., Busta Rhymes, Lil Jon, Young Jeezy and Teairra Mar?? were
among the hip-hop elite who rallied together in the ATL for Banner’s
Heal the Hood Benefit Concert in September (see “David Banner Says He Has No Choice But To Heal The Hood” and “David Banner, Nelly, Busta Call On Atlanta Crowd To Heal The Hood”), and Banner says he has no plans to stop now.
“I plan on doing more benefits,” the rapper said. “But one thing with
me is I don’t want to take advantage of artists who donate their time,
because you have to understand that artists who are at the caliber of
Nelly are donating a lot of money out of their pocket on top of how
much it costs for them to donate a show. They could be somewhere else
getting big paper, so I [don’t want to] just use my organization to
draw money from artists; I’m trying to find alternative ways, too.”
The main reason Banner wanted to spearhead his own effort was so he
could ensure that the funds would make it into the hands of those who
need it most.
“I started Heal the Hood because I wanted to be in control of what
happened to my people ¬Ç√Ñ√Æ and I can do it,” Banner said. “As a young
person who comes from a poor surrounding, every opportunity I get to
stand in front of a camera, I’m gonna ask people not to forget about my
people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and all of the places our
people have to go to in order to seek shelter ¬Ç√Ñ√Æ and for me to come and
represent those who have been forgotten about, it’s a blessing.”
Listen to the September interview of David Banner with Hip Hop Journalist Davey D.