The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place -lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good- so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Rapper:
This Week's Subject(s):
Ask A Rapper: We think the first question we want to ask is why did that Houston 4 Haiti concert happen? Given the whole "I get money" undertones that most rap songs have nowadays, the premise seemed a bit counterintuitive. Yes, this question is basically the equivalent of us lobbing you a softball pitch, giving you a chance to talk about how altruistic rappers really are.
Candi Redd: The concert happened because Mr. Bun B was gracious enough to pull all of the Houston artists together in order to raise money for the victims in Haiti. Though hip-hop has its negativity, I think that it is safe to say when it comes down to raising money for a good cause, the first option organizations usually run to is hip-hop. And the artists do not have a problem with coming out free of charge.
There were artists who unselfishly canceled paid gigs in order to be there, including myself. I didn't really care about the money though. Though I don't feel like my contribution made a huge difference, I'm glad that I could be of assistance and even be invited out by a legend in the game.
AAR: We've been doing some thinking about how else we could help Haiti. We've got a couple of ideas:
First, considering how popular it's been, how about if you do a Haiti-themed remix of "Independent Bitches" and then sell it on iTunes? Like, instead of the hook saying, "Independent bitches get up on the dance floor," you could change it to say, "Independent bitches donate money to Haiti"? It's the perfect number of syllables and everything. Maybe they hear it in Haiti and it becomes a national rallying cry. They play it every morning to motivate people and the country rebuilds itself with a stronger, less corrupt infrastructure. You become the next Bono. Everyone comes away winners.
CR: Damn, that is a great idea! I'm going to call my label today and find out the steps that would need to be taken in order for the iTunes sales to go to the Haiti relief account. It's not the perfect number of syllables [laughs]. I can work out the kinks though. Thanks for the idea. The Houston Press
helping write hits [laughs].
AAR: Another idea: We set up a pay-per-view fistfight between the Gutta Mamis, Just Brittany and her two backup dancers and Letoya Luckett and her two backup dancers. All proceeds go to Haiti relief. There's no way that doesn't raise at least $50,000.
CR: [laughs] I would be down. That would definitely draw enough attention to raise lots of money for the victims. Me, Surreall, Kharma and Suggar (Gutta Mamis) would have to show these R&B ladies what were made of in the ring [laughs]. Tell Just Brittany they're not gonna be calling her for that good with a black eye [laughs]. Just kidding, Brittany. You know you my girl.
[Note: Just Brittany is a local R&B singer whose best song thus far has been "Call Me For That Good," a track that states that her vag is better than average.]
AAR: [laughs] Did you notice that after the earthquake happened just about every musician all of a sudden had family and friends that were Haitian? Are we the only ones that noticed that?
CR [laughs]: You are cracking me up. Sorry, but no, I did not notice artists were saying they had family who were Haitian. I don't have any Haitian family members, but my heart definitely goes out to them and I wanna say that I did what I could but I don't think that would be the least bit true after analyzing some of your ideas.
I want to do more, you know? I made donations and did free performances but those ideas that you gave would really make me feel like I went above and beyond instead of just the average donation of clothes, small amounts of money, can goods, etc.
AAR: Serious question: Are you or any other of the Gutta Mamis going to be doing anymore Haiti-related stuff? Have you heard any other Houston artists doing anything else?
CR: Honestly, since the Houston 4 Haiti event, I would have to say no. I have not heard of anything other artists are doing yet. I'm definitely going to look into that fight event though and see who would be interested in participating.
If anybody has any other good suggestions for how musicians can help Haiti, send them to Candi Redd via twitter at @candiredd. Her next tape,
Redd Turn Head, is coming soon.