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Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Published: 9/22/2013

Editorials

Righteous rap

Those of you reading this may have never heard of The Game or Drake before they teamed up to donate $20,000 to an Ohio woman whose entire family was killed in a fire Sunday. But in the rap and hip-hop industry, they are superstars.

In the mainstream media, however, most of the publicity rappers get is negative, and their profane lyrics and bling-bling dress and lifestyle are, naively, blamed for youth violence and a range of other social ills. Nor does the complex and aspirational art of rap get much respect outside the hip-hop and youth culture that celebrates and sustains it.

What’s often not reported, though, is that most successful rappers have charities and donate their time and money to youth and other causes. Some of them are products of single-parent families, and a father’s responsibility to his children is a virtue they often preach. The Game, born Jayceon Terrell Taylor, grew up in Compton, outside Los Angeles, and was placed in foster care at an early age.

So it’s not surprising that he felt moved to help 30-year-old Tiffin resident Anna Angel, who was working a shift at Burger King when her five children, ages 1 to 6, and 25-year-old boyfriend, Timothy Fresch, were engulfed in flames in their trailer home. The trailer was built in 1972, before certain federal fire-safety standards were in effect.

After she raced home on a bike, she was taken to the hospital, where she identified her children. One by one, she kissed their lifeless bodies good-bye.

In a caption for his Instagram post, The Game wrote: “I can deal with a lot of things but people losing their children is something that kills me every time. I cannot imagine the feeling she had at that moment.”

Drake and The Game each donated $10,000 to Ms. Angel to help cover funeral costs. They made the donation on behalf of The Robin Hood Project, The Game’s initiative to contribute $1 million to charity. Producers of his reality dating TV show pledged another $2,500.

Another donor anonymously gave Ms. Angel a 2001 Subaru Forester. The Anna Angel Donation Fund has been set up at U.S. Bank.

For multimillionaires such as The Game and Drake to donate $20,000 does not make them heroes. But it does show they are moved by the same things that move everyone — whether or not they enjoy rap music.



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