Being born on New Year’s Day usually means that people are sleeping off the festivities from New Year’s Eve. January first doesn’t lend itself to typical birthday celebrations. I was fully prepared to mark my birthday with a cupcake and a few friends at brunch, but an article in The New York Times changed my mind. The article, a story about teen mothers, touched me for two reasons: I used to work at the NYTimes and I live in Brooklyn. I had no idea that young mothers in the area faced such high levels of discrimination, frustration and alienation. Was there something I could do to help? It turned out there was.
Being a supporter of the most positive elements of Hip-Hop culture afford me a special relationship with notable Brooklyn DJs and producers, one of whom was adamant that I celebrate my birthday in a bigger way than just a lonely cupcake. I had declined the offer but, upon digesting the article, called up the deejays. “Would you still be open to throwing me that birthday party?” I asked. I explained my concerns regarding young mothers in Brooklyn and asked if I could turn my birthday into a fundraiser. DJ Akalepse, DJ Evil Dee, Lord Finesse and Rich Medina gave me free reign. I was responsible for the conception, publicity and production of an event to benefit The Brooklyn Young Mothers Collective and I am pleased to say we raised funds and awareness of the struggle that young mother’s in Brooklyn face. It was one of the most fulfilling events I’ve put together so far.
Click here to view the event photos»
I was responsible for production and styling of Steele, Memphis Bleek and Tekomin on set for the video ‘Top of the World’ from the Pete Rock | Smif-n-Wessun album, “Monumental”. Working with artists on set is exciting because you need to coordinate a lot of moving parts and personalities in a short space of time. “Monumental” is on Duck Down Records and is available at major retailers (Best Buy, FYE), Independent, Mom & Pop stores, and more. To watch the final video, click here.
Neek The Exotic + Large Professor tell Chevon about their video concept for “Guess Who.” The second single off STILL ON THE HUSTLE (on FatBeats Records).
Sean Penn’s JPHRO foundation Thanks Cormega for Haiti Benefit Song
Queens emcee Cormega has gone from traveling to Haiti with Styes P and Immortal Technique in a hands-on effort to help the country, to pulling together a supergroup comprised of artists Redman, Maya Azucena, General Steele of Smif-n-Wessun, Jazimoto, Stic.Man of Dead Prez, and Fame of M.O.P. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with him to pull this together.
The supergroup teamed with a roster of advocates to craft “I Made A Difference,” a benefit song for Haiti. The song was released on iTunes Myspace and SONY/Red with proceeds being administered by Sean Penn’s JPHRO foundation.
In a fitting follow up to all of his hard work in the fight to keep the attention on rebuilding Haiti, the Sean Penn/JPHRO foundation offered their public gratitude to Cormega via their official Twitter page.
To support the rebuilding effort in Haiti:
You can purchase “I Made A Difference (‘The Haiti Benefit Song’) Feat.General Steele, Sticman, Redman, Lil Fame, Maya Azucena, Jazimoto, The Revelations” on
// Cormega Teams with Steele, Redman, Stic Man, Fame and Maya Azucena for Haitian Relief
// Proceeds from “I MADE A DIFFERENCE” song to benefit Haiti via JPHRO.org
// Cormega x Sony/Red Press Event Recap [Video] via @Antisellout dot com
When recording artist Cormega offered me the opportunity to help him with the ‘I Made A Difference’ project for Haiti, I gladly accepted. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of Proceeds from “I MADE A DIFFERENCE” benefit Haiti via JPHRO.org. The song features Redman, Cormega, General Steele, of Smif-n-Wessu, Fame of M.O.P., Stic.man of Dead Prez and Maya Azucena.
You can purchase “I Made A Difference (The Haiti Benefit Song) Feat.General Steele, Sticman, Redman, Lil Fame, Maya Azucena, Jazimoto, The Revelations” on
On a cold day, I put the word out:
“I intend to start a coat drive. Who’s with me?”
The first person to answer was a recording artist with a big name and an even bigger heart. Together, we held a month-long coat drive, plus a benefit concert for Housing Works. Housing Works, is a not-for-profit group dedicated to helping people affected by the linked-crises of HIV/AIDS and homelessness.
Although it ran for an entire month, the biggest day of the coat drive was the final day. We organized an in-store party with music, food, drinks and more at Coat of Arms (43 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002). At the party, the community came out in one last push to collect warm outerwear for Housing Works. Each donor received free tickets to the wrap concert which took place later that night at Tammany Hall, a venue on the Lower East Side. Donors also received free CDs, Frank151 books, event-related t-shirts and other gifts from our sponsors.
The in-store closing party also featured an art auction of Brian Kavanagh’s urban photography, food from East Village purveyor Lil Frankie’s, and music from Mr. Walt and DJ Bazarro of the Beatminerz.
The after party and concert hosted by LES & VH1 personality Alexandra Estevez, featured a live performance by Cormega, backed by his live band The Revelations. The concert drew a diverse crowd from skateboarders and models, to Hip-Hoppers and downtown tastemakers. The best part? All of the proceeds from the door went straight to Housing Works, along with a large donation of warm outerwear.
Be sure to check out the Cormega ‘Rapture’ music video below. It was created from the live footage of the benefit concert.