Under appreciated celebrity activists

In a perfect world, celebrities would use their influence to make a real difference in the world with no second agenda or fabricated promises. Rapper 50 cent, otherwise known as Curtis Jackson is an international superstar known mainly for his unpolished rapping. However, Jackson is actually on the board of directors of the G-Unity foundation which provides grants to non-profit organisations that work to improve the quality of life for low income and underserved communities. Not only this, but he has been an advocate for issues such as AIDS/HIV, at risk/disadvantaged youths, cancer, children, conservation, health, environment, poverty and veteran member support. An article in Elite Daily opens on the statement “contrary to popular belief, rappers are half-way decent people”. I find this a deeply uncomfortable sentence. There are celebrities such as Bono and Angelina Jolie that receive mass amounts of praise and media attention and there are people like not only 50 Cent, but Snoop Dogg and Kanye West who do not receive half the amount of support and commendation they deserve for their very generous donations and charity work. This is merely because of their status as a rapper in the western music industry. Another celebrity, in my opinion, that has not received the right amount of praise for her efforts in charity work is Mariah Carey. In 1999 Mariah received a congressional award in honour of her contributions to youth profits and non-profit organisations. There is no denial that a portion of celebrities, however big or small, use activism as a form of power play where they purely intend to make themselves look good. Celebrities that keep their charity work low key and humble and only bring it up when asked should be the way that global issues are promoted. There is no denial that heavily publicising issues and charities through social media does do some good in spreading awareness and so forth, but when the end game is for these celebrities to gain status and admirable recognition, it does seem like a double standard.

Reference List

Sonny, J 2013, ‘When Rappers Have Hearts: The Most Charitable Emcees in the Game’, Elite Daily, 7 August, viewed 27/08/2015 <http://elitedaily.com/music/when-rappers-have-hearts-the-most-charitable-emcees-in-the-game/>

2015, 50 Cent: Charity Work, Events and Causes, Look to the Stars, viewed 28/08/2015 <https://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/50-cent#related-news>

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