Celebrities around the country have donated their money and time towards the cause, but hip-hop has had an especially large role. Sean “Diddy” Combs donated $1 million bottles of his Aquahydrate water. Meek Mill donated money to the Flint Child and Family Health Development Fund, and sent 60,000 bottles of water. Detroit native Big Sean launched a Heal Flint’s Kids initiative, donating $10,000 of his own money and raising more than $57,000 at press time. On Friday, Snoop Dogg popped up in Flint to meet with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver before a show in Detroit. The Game, whose sister and children live in Flint, teamed with the Michigan-based Avita Water to donate $1 million (including $500,000 of his own money), and challenged Madonna and Jimmy Fallon to increase their donations of $10,000. Def Jam founder Russell Simmonsdonated 150,000 bottles through his company RushCard, including taking some of the water door to door, and spoke at a town hall meeting in Flint on Monday. Others within the culture have moved relatively silently: Pusha T sponsored a group from Virginia that brought two semi trucks worth of bottled water to Flint and delivered them to homes in the area.
“I think most hip-hop artists can relate to the issue due to their previous upbringing and surroundings,” added Tia Scott, a Flint-based writer who covers hip-hop music on her blog The Dope Show. “Many of these artists speaking out aren’t far removed from poverty, violence, and unfair social and economical conditions that personally affect them and their families.”