In the middle of this tragically harsh world, it’s amazing and blessed to know rappers still care.
Earlier this week, we reported that rapper Jayceon “The Game” Taylor was a recipient of The Source Magazine’s “MLK Achievement Award” due to his charitable work in several instances last year, most notably his “Robin Hood Project”. According to the Instagram profile set up for the project, which at the moment has 164,331 followers, the description of the initiative is:
“One man. One million dollars. One goal. Giving $1,000,000 of my own $$$ just because I feel like it!”.
The Game is donating one MILLION dollars – not an insubstantial portion of his own liquid cash holdings – towards funding this project, and is asking others to get involved. Since September 2013, The Game has given away over $100,000 to people in various difficult situations, including paying for hospital bills, funerals, and a $10,000 donation to Red Cross to help the people in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The Game has donated to 33 people so far, and if he stays true to his plan of giving away a full million dollars he has over $800,000 left to give in the months to come.
Mr. Taylor was shocked and horrified by the brutal murders of Talib Peccante and Tiana Ricks last year, who were 6 and 7 years old, and yet became tragic victims of violence between older gang members. To help stem the tide of gang violence in Compton, he is establishing a charity that aims to help poor families in need, who are dealing with grief and loss. And he’s donating literally $1,000,000 of his own money towards the establishment of what’s being called Robin Hood, a charity that aims to help eliminate grief and poverty. The Game initially pledged to give away a million dollars by Christmas, but work and time constraints didn’t permit the launch in earnest by the end of last year – and The Robin Hood Project is now taking a longer view, with part of the funds donated so far, and The Game making an Instagram online photo journey out of his physical journey to give in 2014.
The smaller awards, to poor people down on their luck, are heartwarming and inspiring. The larger awards – given to families who have suffered a death, to help the costs and the grieving – are both inspiring and heartbreaking, and moving, for they are dedicated to memorial photos of the fallen. The stories that produced them are nothing but heartbreaking. Tiana Ricks and her father were murdered by gang violence in September of last year, with the little 6-year-old girl’s final words reportedly given as ‘Are you OK, Daddy?’. Talib Peccante was slain by gunfire and his mother brutally wounded in a similarly vicious attack in December. These tragic stories inspired Game to step up so their families would not suffer financial ruin in the middle of personal horror, and to pay all funeral costs and help with the families’ grief.
They are not the only victims whose families’ costs and heartache The Game has been trying to soothe. The wall contains a terrible proportion of “RIP’s”. With The Game’s music taking a more introspective tack since LAX – on which he rapped: ”I need some meditation, so I can lead my people. They askin’ why? Why did John Lennon leave the Beatles?” – 2013 and 2014 are the years that he is making good on his lyrical promise to listeners to become not just a celebrity, but a genuine leader in the community.
The other inspiration for the project came apparently from an interaction with a poor African-Australian child while on tour. Here’s what The Game had to say about it:
“The other day I posted this pic of an African child I met in Australia playing outside the grocery store. His story of his families hardships & struggles to get away from the terror they left behind touched me so I gave him what I had on me…which was an Australian $20 bill. As the days passed, I thought about him over & over & over & the only thing that bothered me about that night was that I didn’t have more on me to give him at that time. For some reason I just didn’t bring more money from the hotel. Since I can’t shake that feeling… I have decided to give $1,000,000 to people I come in contact with around the world everyday until Christmas. Don’t even know if thats possible but I’ve set my heart on trying!!! I’ve created a new account specifically for those who would like to Follow @therobinhoodproject & support me on this journey.”
While he originally said his deadline was Christmas, work scheduling didn’t permit it, and the deadline has been revoked to 2014 generally while The Game decides how best to disburse funds to the needy. He has made two donations already in January and the pledge is to continue to do so until he’s reached his $1,000,000 goal.
It’s admirable to see a celebrity take charity into his own hands and add personality, something that forges a special bond and inspires even more people to get involved and become the Robin Hoods of their worlds too. It’s rare that someone does something meaningful enough to be mentioned in the same sentence as Dr. King himself, but The Game clearly deserves it. Hats off to him from the BeAMusicPro community.
More information about The Robin Hood Project can be found at The Game’s special Robin Hood Instagram feed at :
LINK: The Facebook Page for The Robin Hood Project
BeAMusicPro.com will also feature exclusive coverage of The Game’s endeavor in weeks and months to come! Stay tuned for more exclusive coverage of this amazing effort to change the world for the better.
(If you are a charity or a charitable individual and interested in becoming involved in poverty relief and grief remediation for victims of violence in any way, write to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Robin Hood” in the subject line.)