HIP HOP FOR HEALTH A Conversation Starter
This past weekend 97.9 The Box, the Greater Houston area’s only hip hop and modern R&B music radio station, hosted their first-ever Hip Hop 4 Health event. Hip Hop 4 Health is an interactive family fun day that took place downtown at Discovery Green Park, where the station was able to successfully combine Hip-Hop music with health screenings and important information to promote healthy living and fitness.
In March of this year, American Fitness Institute ranked Houston number 43 out of the top 50 metropolitan cities in terms of overall fitness, despite being the home to the largest Medical Center in the world. The event used Hip-Hop music to attracted hundreds of people of all races, shapes, ages and backgrounds to Discovery Green.
From start to finish, people consistently flocked the information booths and hovered around the performance stage, eager to take advantage of the free music, health screenings and field activities.
Madd Hatta, host of 97.9 The Box’s popular Madd Hatta Morning Show, said that the event was intended to serve as a conversation starter to encourage Houston residents to not only learn the status of their current health but also gain access to helpful information from local gyms, the U.S. Navy and a number of important organizations.
Performances touched about three generations in the crowd, with acts ranging from the legendary Big Daddy Kane, veteran rapper/actor Ludacris, and up and coming young artist B. Smyth. During their sets, each artist took a moment to touch on the issues of healthy living and wellness, in their own unique way. The crowd jumped and danced at the command of Big Daddy Kane as he incorporated crowd participation and exercise routines into his on stage performance, encouraging people to do more physical activities. Ludacris emphasized the importance of drinking lots of water and inspired everyone to adopt healthy lifestyles. B. Smyth stated that the road to success in music is very much rooted in maintaining good health.
“Work hard and get some sleep,” said B. Smyth. “There is going to be a lot of people pulling you in a lot of directions, but as a human being, you need your rest.”
Local celebrities were also on the scene at the event, such as Houston Texans’ offensive tackle Duane Brown and guard Brandon Brooks. Houston rapper Slim Thug visited the park and took first place in a foot race against 97.9 radio personality J-Mac. Slim Thug noted that it’s important to exercise frequently and be health conscious because no matter how much money you have or how powerful you are, without your health your money is worthless.
Many attendees seemed to value the health fair and information booths, as much as they did the live performances.
Steven Cooper, 42, stated that the event was a much needed conversation starter for the communities of Houston, adding that we should check up on our health as frequently as we check up on our car. John Christopher Clemmons, 27, said that the field activities were a great way for him to remain active with his 6-year old son Jaylen Christopher, because he noticed that while kids are sort of active, often times the children’s parents are not. Broderick Perry was present with his daughter Eloncia, 10, and his two nephews Jalen, 10, and Teddric, 10. He commended 97.9 The Box for doing a good thing for the community and for creating an environment where kids could stay out of trouble and stay busy while learning health tips.
In addition to the newly created Hip Hop 4 Health event, 97.9 The Box has been known for promoting health awareness to the Greater Houston community, by offering their annual Hip Hop for HIV event, which uses Hip Hop music to encourage people to get tested and learn their status in order to receive a ticket to the event.