Kanye, Common, Mos Def, Talib Help Kevin Powell With Relief Effort

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

Adult socks

Children's shoes and sneakers

Children socks

Bottles of water


Baby wipes

Baby food

Baby aspirin



Toilet paper

Sanitary napkins

Portable radios with batteries

Plastic forks, knives, and spoons

Cotton balls

Cotton swabs

Hydrogen peroxide BUT NOT rubbing alcohol, because that is flammable

Band aids

Shaving cream

Male AND female razors


Air mattresses


Pillows and pillow cases

Gift cards for gas

Wal mart gift cards

Garbage bags

Cleaning supplies


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 cher_harrison@yahoo.com.