Hip Hop 4 The Hungry is back again this year, this time with new artists on the roster, but with same the mission; to help a local charity through a benefit concert. The four young organizers have been hard at work since November, trying to get everything ready in time for this charity event.
“This year we are broadening our horizons and helping out Old Mission Brewery,” said one of the event’s organizers, Scheider Jean, over the phone.
Hip hop 4 The Hungry’s debut last year was a success. They were able to pack a West Island bar, and collected more than ten boxes of food for Dans La Rue. “We were really anxious to see how it would go because Clyde’s is usually a rock bar,” explains Jean.
He says that what was really encouraging was seeing parents come in with their children, saying they really appreciated what they were doing. “Even though some might not like the music, they might like the cause,” says Jean. He explains that last year, some people chose to just drop off donations and did not stay for the actual show.
Hip Hop 4 The Hungry is the original idea of two Concordia students who were tired of just playing so-called “ordinary” shows. Having been involved in the Montreal hip hop scene since 1999, Scheider Jean and Francis Cartier wanted to do something that was more meaningful.
So they used their resources and common interest to help out the community. “We are strong believers of having an impact in the community we live in,” says Jean. “We wanted to make a difference.”
Last year they had approached Dans La Rue, a Montreal organization that helps street kids. “Since hip hop is from the streets, we thought we’d help an organization like Dans La Rue,” says the young organizer.
Jean and Cartier recruited the help of two other young men this year to help organize the event. Mohammed Shihabeldeen, aka Meta4ce, and Jean Beliveau, aka DJ Twitch, are helping to find local artists and promoting the event.
“It’s a pleasure to work with them because I feel like I am doing something with a purpose,” says Shihabeldeen. Not only has he been taking care of the roster, he will also be performing the night of the event.
One challenge that has arisen is trying to find charities to help out.
“Sometimes, when it’s hip hop, they have this type of negative view and people will push us away,” says Jean, “it’s totally weird because we are doing it for a good cause, but some organizations don’t seem to understand that.”
However, Old Mission Brewery welcomed the idea with open arms.
“They saw that we were young people doing music and really supported us,” says Jean.
The organizers are asking people to bring food and clothing donations because “the Old Brewery Mission is in need of clothing right now, they’ve had less donations since the events of last month in South-East Asia,” says Jean. “We don’t want to take anything away from the seriousness of the tragedy of last month, but we want to remind people at home that there are people that are suffering here,” he explains.
This year Hip hop 4 The Hungry will be taking place at Bourbon Street West in Dorval. New acts have been added to the line-up, including a live band and a female dancing group. “We want to show people that hip hop is diverse,” says Jean.
Local artists Meta4ce, Side-C, Eye 2 Eye and Jey will also be performing 20-minute sets each. “I really do not know what to expect,” says Jean referring to this year’s show, “but we want to keep doing it every year.”
Hip hop 4 The Hungry is on Thursday Feb 17th at Bourbon Street West (1866 Sources Boulevard). Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 without donation or $3 with food and/or clothing donations.