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Puttin’ the “Ill” in Philanthropy

Having hoes in different area codes can teach you a lot of useful things: time management and responsibility allocation, to name a couple. Although this may be a very chauvinistic way to acquire these skills, some rappers have taken this lesson to heart by devoting their time to causes outside of the rap game. Inspired by T.I.’s heroism this past week, I decided to compile a list for the top 5 illest public services performed by hip hop figureheads in recent history.

1. T.I. talks a suicidal jumper down from a ledge.

Last week TI was cruising in the ATL when he heard news about a suicidal man on top of a 22-story building downtown. After rushing to the scene, the rapper sent a video recording of himself to the man via cell phone, persuading him to come down safely. It takes a lot of quick thinking to be able to convince someone in such an irrational state of mind to be reasonable. I guess those freestyling skills can be multifunctional.

2. Lupe Fiasco teaches a writing workshop in NYC.

Last week, Lupe instructed a group of urban teens about the art of writing and structuring songs during a three-hour session; the class was part of a non-profit art exhibition. Although Lupe said his experience teaching kids was “dope,” he doesn’t plan to pursue teaching any further. Bummer, Professor Fiasco would have been a sick addition to the New York public school system.

3. 50 Cent saves the Rhinos??

Well, not yet. But an animal rights group in Africa has reportedly approached Fitty about adopting a rhino named Phila. The group hopes that the rapper will join the fight against rhino poaching in southern Africa. Alright, I’m just gonna say: just because a man wears a lot of Ecko Unltd doesn’t mean he’s going to adopt a rhino. Be strong, Phila.

4. Lil Wayne Donates 200 Large to restore a New Orleans park.

Remembering the playground he played on when he was literally Lil Wayne, the rapper donated $200,000 to restore a playground that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Not even a hurricane is too breezy for Weezy.

5. Big Boi creates the Big Kidz Foundation to keep kids culturally conscious.

Since 2006, Big Boi has held an annual fundraiser for his program whose aim is to maintain the arts in public schools where art programs have fallen victim to budget cuts. This past summer Big Boi raised thousands of dollars by auctioning off the artwork of fellow artists, including George Clinton and T.I. Thanks to The Big Kidz program, it’s only a matter of time before Big Boi’s Kids are making their own Ghetto Musick.

Having a big ego doesn’t mean that you can’t also have a big heart. Mad props to these guys. Also, Free Weezy.

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