Celebrities, dancing, food and basketball was the fun theme of a charity event taking place Saturday, February 6 in Queens, New York.
H2O Basketball presented the 2nd Annual Celebrity Charity Basketball Game at CUNY York College in Jamaica, Queens, ending the annual New York Peace Week the right way. The “Ballin’ 4 Peace” event was made to highlight an important anti-violence message while raising funds that will go to benefiting youth programs in the New York City area.
Celebrities play such an important role in the way the current generation views life, and having them come out and give back shows young people they can do whatever they set their minds to while still caring about their community. The “Ballin’ 4 Peace” event welcomed many artists and reality television stars, including Dot Mob battle rapper T–Rex, Fred the Godson, Love and Hip-Hop star Bianca Bonnie, Lil Mama, Mack Wilds, D. Chamberz and many more.
To kick off the event, the youth were the first to play in the York College gym. Showing spirit and heart, they played a tough game and following the game, the kids and VIP audience members were able to meet some of the celebs and take pictures with them as well.
Every celeb came out to support and donate and they all had the same message: telling the kids to stay in school and stay focused, while highlighting just how important events like the charity game is.
“[This event] is definitely important and the youth need a positive direction and people that’s going to have a positive influence over them to keep them on the right track. I always like to support the youth because when I got into the industry I was a kid, so it’s always great,” Bianca told The Source. “Definitely stay in school follow your dreams and whatever you want to do, just do it no matter what. Love and Hip Hop may not portray the best image, but it’s life. You’re going to go through obstacles, there’s going to be rollercoasters, but you just [have] to stay focused and do what ever you want to do in life.”
While Bianca wasn’t playing in the game, she stayed to support the teams playing and even did a little “dab” on the sidelines while DJ G$Money spun some old school and new school tracks while the celebrity game was going. Also on the sidelines supporting the movement and taking tons of selfies with the audience was Mack Wilds, who explained events like these are some of the most important events in the culture.
“I think we don’t do it enough, there’s so much that goes on in our communities that a lot of people turn a blind eye to, whether it’s all of the stuff that we’ve been seeing on TV about the cops or whether it’s the stuff we do in our own communities, to ourselves, there’s a lot of stuff that we see that we turn a blind eye to and I think it’s charity events like this that are pushing towards the right direction, it’s a conversation for the right to happen,” Mack Wilds told us. He continued saying, “It’s okay to listen to our music, it’s okay to be influenced by us, it’s okay to see us and to idolize us, but understand that a lot of the stuff that we talk about is our goods and bads, understand the difference between them and learn from our mistakes, we’re telling you guys our mistakes so you don’t have to make them.”
Lil Mama spoke about how important the charity game was to her while she danced on the sidelines, entertaining the audience and rapping to her new hit single, “Sausage.”
“It’s helping everybody stay peaceful, get the guns off the street and all of the violence. I like when we come together and do events like this, everybody wants to be a part of an event, everybody wants to feel like they’re doing something, so we do stuff like this, parties, red carpets, so people can come out and have fun instead of fighting and killing each other,” she told The Source Magazine. “Always know that we’re kings and queens, always live in your kingdom and always live in your queendom, be smart, be positive, follow your gut, if you’re feeling some type of way and it’s positive and it’s strong and people outside of you are saying something else, but you know it’s beneath you, always do better, never settle for less, go hard.”
Someone with a similar message is D. Chamberz. “I think this needs to happen more often, because from this time frame of three to nine, there’s kids looking to do something positive and there’s people reaching out to them, especially in a calm setting, maybe if they want to further their careers or in college by coming around to ‘Ballin’ 4 Peace’ to see the celebrities interacting with everybody, [to see that] it’s the norm [and] it’s possible that it can happen right here in the hood.”
T-Rex, who has a seven-year-old son, says charity events like “Ballin’ 4 Peace” hit home. “It means a lot for me to [tell the youth] not to be [involved] in violence or in drug dealing or any of that because I’m raising a young man and I don’t want him to grow into any of that, so if this is what I [have] to do to lead by example, I don’t [have] a problem with that,” he said. “You [have] to look at rapping, singing, everything is acting. I walk on stage as T-Rex, but I’m Randy to somebody else, so at the end of the day, this is all a job, remember that this is a job, you [don’t have] to go hustle, you don’t [have] to go shoot somebody because I said it, that’s what I grew up around, that don’t mean you [have] to do it.”
Oh Sh*t from Black Ink Crew admitted while he may not be the best role model based off his reality show, he encourages the kids not to pay so much attention to what they see on TV to imitate.
“Just having an event to keep people peaceful and out of trouble is all about what I believe in, you know I’ve had my own struggles,” he said. “Struggle builds character, you could have your down times, but try to make everything better for your life. I’m known for not being the best role model, but you know what I’m out here trying to give back and do what I have to do.”
Young Money’s DJ Kid Famous added to Oh Sh*t’s thoughts. “Everything [isn’t] what you see on TV, so be you, don’t be afraid to be you, just follow your heart, stay in school [and] no violence.”
Fred the Godson added that seeing the youth come together with their families and seeing how involved the celebrities were, regardless of having been a positive role model or not, was a beautiful sight because it’s all about what they were doing now in that moment and his message was simple. “Look around and take everything in, a lot of them have this negativity and this perception of us rappers, but as they can see, we’re just like regular dudes that like to have fun and play basketball, just like what they do, just have fun and sometimes it gets crazy, but it’s all love,” he said.
Even the comedians had nothing but positive vibes for the kids and a message letting them know that life is more than just violence and what you see out your window on a daily basis.
“This is a big event because you got the youth involved, we got the kids and we all need something in the community for the kids straight out of Queens, so I’m glad to actually see this in my neighborhood, so I’m really happy to see this go down and I’m the host, so I’m going to actually bring the funny, we’re going to talk about a lot of different things,” said comedian Fly Boii Kris. And his message to the youth? “Be what you want to be, but don’t [others] misconstrued you in the wrong way, keep doing what you’re doing, get your education and whatever it is that you want to do, do it, but don’t do it in the wrong way, make sure you do it in the most positive way.”
Other celebs in attendance were Akee Fontane, YouTube sensation Danny Barbosa, DJ Spynfo, DJ Jus, TT Torrez and Cortez.
The game ended with wins and losses, but everyone was there for one cause and at the end of the day the only thing that mattered (and always matters) is the youth.