Common, Kanye West, Mos Def and Talib Kweli have answered a call from Kevin Powell and have helped the journalist/ activist transport an assortment of goods directly to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Tonight (Sept. 8), Powell hosts a free benefit event at the Canal Room located at 285 West Broadway in Manhattan. While the event is free, those that attend must bring supplies to those in need.
Additionally, Powell is calling for leaders within the Hip-Hop nation, industry and corporations to lead the charge of aid.
“I wanted to mobilize the Hip-Hop community and those of us in the industry, as we say. We went after rappers we thought would respond right away. Kanye, Common, Talib [Kweli] and Mos Def all caked up money for a 53-foot tractor-trailer that we will have at the event,” Kevin Powell told AllHipHop.com. “They put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.”
“Hopefully, it will encourage other artists, other industry people to get down as well. T.I. did his thing down in ATL (by raising over $250, 000) and Kanye is gonna be on the West coast. It just shows that the Hip-Hop community is willing to step up.”
Powell said the 53-foot tractor-trailer truck would be driven directly to Claiborne County Health Center in Port Gibson, Mississippi. The accomplished author explained said that he would be flying to New Orleans by way of nearby Baton Rouge and documenting the strife first hand. From Louisiana, he will then go to Houston, which houses the bulk of the evacuees to further aid the relief effort.
While much is going down now, Powell urged that the process of helping is an ongoing procedure, not one that should end with a single pledge, donation or effort. The activist stated that his annual holiday benefit in December would also be devoted to those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
“This is a first step in getting us involved on a regular basis,” Powell said. “Entertainment is great, but it’s got to be a balance. In the mainstream community, you always see Sting, Elton John. We need to be consistent like that in the Hip-Hop community.”
Below are the details of the benefit event at the Canal Room in Manhattan:
Clothing for children and adults
Adult shoes and sneakers
Children’s shoes and sneakers
Bottles of water
Portable radios with batteries
Plastic forks, knives, and spoons
Hydrogen peroxide BUT NOT rubbing alcohol, because that is flammable
Male AND female razors
Pillows and pillow cases
Gift cards for gas
Wal mart gift cards
Toothpaste and toothbrushes
Books for children, including coloring books
Books for adults
Clothing and shoes/sneakers should be in new or in clean and good condition. No monetary donations will be accepted. Canal Room has generously donated the space, but there will be a cash bar all evening. Canal Room is located at 285 West Broadway, at Canal Street in TriBeCa. The event will run from 7pm-11pm and no one under 21 will be admitted. Please bring proper ID and RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.