WATCH: CNN Health and Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Special Coverage of our “Dunk The Junk Atlanta” event on CNN – Saturday, June 16 at 4:30PM EST.
“As much as I used to stay in detention, I never thought I’d have a mural in my honor.”
Killer Mike was beaming as he laughed over his own words outside Emma Hutchinson Elementary School in his hometown of Atlanta. He was being immortalized by “Dunk The Junk’s” graffiti artist, Mike Rich, at the school – for being an outspoken rapper, a community pillar, and a guy who simply cares. The feeling in the air at the school was festive…but the reason for the day was much more serious.
The special guests – including Killer Mike, Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN Health, NBA legend Dominique Wilkins, an Atlanta Hawks exhibition team, NCAA Dunk Champion Jacob Tucker. – were there to save lives by combating childhood obesity.
CNN Health and Dr. Sanjay Gupta were on-hand to chronicle the unique “Dunk The Junk” model for partnering Hoops (the exciting dunking exhibition held at each event) with Hip-Hop (via AllHipHop.com and City for Change) and Health Research (via Black Thought’s GrassROOTS Community Foundation) to educate children about nutrition and dispel some of the myths around sugar and fat.
Partners such as AllHipHop.com/City for Change, and GrassROOTS Community Foundation – aimed at enriching the lives of under-served women and girls in Philadelphia, Newark, NJ, and around the country – have helped to bring much-needed media attention and grassroots support to the nutrition/exercise causes championed by people such as First Lady Michelle Obama.
Killer Mike and his rap lifestyle have added up over the years. He’s a massive man – just the right size to back up the intensity of his lyrics on albums such as the brand-new R.A.P. Music, and his acclaimed PL3DGE series.
Health-wise, however, Killer Mike knew his size could get the best of him someday. So he committed recently to making a change – and since then, he’s lost 20 pounds and counting. (Go Mike!) He spoke with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta at the event about his own health challenges, and what’s been helping him lose weight lately: “Y’all can thank my girl for that.”
The young students at Emma Hutchinson Elementary School may not have realized all of the star power that had been assembled to help drive home the healthy points. But they knew there were adults who cared, that there was a ton of “catching air” by the stunt dunkers, and that certain everyday, sugary processed foods and drinks will do major damage to them in the short and long runs.
As for Killer Mike’s advice to the kids (which included NOT focusing on becoming a rapper): “I didn’t eat right all the time, and I got fat. But I’m working on losing weight now…Do well in school, be smart, be healthy, but most of all…BE RIGHT!”
His “don’t rap” stance fell on deaf ears for a few students, though. A fearsome rap foursome from the school – The Shorties – performed their own lyrics about “dunking the junk,” and elicited squeals from their peers and a few possible rap deals in the future from Killer Mike and AllHipHop.com in the process. In the end, the students were left excited, more educated, and hopefully healthier over time.
Check out the exclusive video of CNN Health’s Dr. Sanja Gupta as he talks to AllHipHop.com about why the Hip-Hop community is so important to the healthy youth fight:
WATCH: CNN Health and Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Special Coverage of our “Dunk The Junk” event on CNN, Saturday, June 16 at 4:30PM EST.
BONUS FOOTAGE – “Dunk The Junk” promo video: