Monday, January 31, 2011

Hiphop Needs a Union!

Once again a health-related setback strikes a Hiphop legend, and once again said legend has neither health benefits nor enough money to foot the expensive cost for the requisite health care.

And, of course, once again, the wealthiest of the wealthy rappers turn a deaf ear to the plight of their primary predecessor, DJ Kool Herc, the man who is largely credited for creating Hiphop music.

According to this article, Herc is suffering from kidney stones and needs surgery to correct the ailment and to help ease the pain and suffering that he says he's been in for months.

The article goes on to say that he has at least $10,000 in existing medical bills, and surgery will only add to that figure.

Arguably, without Herc, there is a chance that rap music may not have ever existed, let alone achieved the global dominance that it is currently and has been enjoying for some time now.

Considering the fact that Jay-Z, Diddy and other wealthy individuals who have made the bulk of their fortunes on the back of Hiphop earned [at least] ten times Herc's current hospital bill while they slept last night, it is mind boggling that they have not stepped up to the plate and offered in part to foot the bill.

Jay bragged on wax about being one of the first to donate money after the Columbine and 9/11 tragedies.

Diddy is the man behind Daddy House, his charitable organization that has founded a number of social programs.

The Beastie Boys, who also came to prominence by using Hiphop to boost their careers to superstardom, know first-hand about having to deal with health problems in an industry that does not extend health benefits to their workers.

Where are they now and why won't they help to pay for Herc's bills and then some?

Hiphop is still reeling from the losses of two major talents who also could have used the help of health benefits during the months leading up to their ultimate health-related demises.

Unfortunately Hiphop is just a microcosm of the rest of the world where the rich stay rich by ignoring opportunities for them to give back to those who paved the way for their success.

Because Hiphop is such a young genre both in age and spirit, we are just now recently seeing its artists fall victim to more and more health-related maladies that have plagued the rest of the world for centuries.

Who knows? If Hiphop had a union with full benefits a doctor could have diagnosed and treated Big Pun and helped prevent the heart attack that caused his undoing.

The possibilities are endless.

I won't get into the whole Obamacare debate but it is truly amazing how many other countries see health care as a basic human right while America refuses to consider a universal, free health care system for its tax-paying citizens.

All it would take is one prominent, wealthy rapper to make a sizable donation and challenge his peers to do the same to help fund Herc's hospital bills and I'm sure money would come flooding in. But, because cash rules, that will never happen.

To put things in their proper perspective, upstart rapper Wiz Khalifa openly admits he spends $10,000 per month buying high grade marijuana.

Rick Ross and Diddy recently "spent" in excess of $1 million in a single night at the King of Diamonds strip club in Miami, "making it rain" by throwing endless amounts of bills into the crowd.

But no one has $10,000 for Herc?

If you're in New York City tonight you can be part of the solution by attending a fundraiser at Sutra, and donations should be sent to:

Kool Herc Productions
PO Box 20472
Huntington Station, NY 11746

PayPal payments can be sent to Kool Herc's sister at

Get well soon, Herc.

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