Fat Joe Is Taking 1 Million Pounds Of Supplies To Puerto Rico (Video)
In a week filled with tragedy in Las Vegas, the devastation of Hurricane Maria two weeks ago continues to leave Puerto Rico in crisis. Only 8% of the island with over 3 million inhabitants has electricity, and only 36% of its ATMs are working. Eighty-percent of its hospitals are still being powered by generators, and the shortage of food, medical supplies and clean water is widespread. Despite pleas from Puerto Rican officials for increased aid from the U.S. government, as a territory of the U.S., many believe the relief being provided is woefully insufficient. Matters were made worse this week when President Trump visited the island and made several remarks that seemed to belittle the damage done to the island, compared to the destruction and death toll in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.
With the government seemingly failing Puerto Rico, others have stepped forward to help the island and its residents, and among them is Fat Joe. Though he was born and raised in The Bronx, NY, Joe has repped his Puerto Rican heritage proudly throughout his career. When the hurricane hit, the MC who released the hit record “Lean Back” sprung into action, galvanizing relief efforts. In late September, he posted on his Instagram “As the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico grows, our brothers and sisters are desperate for our help. Please join myself, TIDAL, Governor Cuomo, and Ruben Diaz Jr. as we collect and transport much-needed supplies to the island. The goal is to fill and send as many cargo planes as possible. Donate or find your local drop-off location and help save lives. Head to TIDAL.com/PuertoRico. If you are in the New York area we are collecting non perishable items such as water, batteries, can foods, diapers,baby wipes, canned formula, etc. on September 30th at the Jacob Javits Center. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and I promise all these items will be delivered by ME personally to Puerto Rico.”
This week, he appeared on CNN to speak about the ongoing crisis and report on the results of his efforts. “We feel stranded. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Rico has paid their part. I have two little cousins that’s in the army right now, willing to give their life for this country. And the fact that it took so long to get any help out there, that’s what I mean. So we had to mobilize and power ourselves to collect canned foods and waters and women’s hygiene and toothpastes to give back to our own community, and that we did,” he said. Joe also revealed that his call-to-action had yielded many more supplies than he had anticipated. “We set out a goal, with JAY-Z and TIDAL, to fill up one plane with 200,000 pounds, and, actually, we filled up five planes and we’ve got to fill up another five more. So we’re at 2 million pounds that the City of New York has collected.” Joe thanked Governer Andrew Cuomo and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. for their help in the drive. He also explained that half of the supplies would go to Puerto Rico and half would go to Mexico.
On October 17, TIDAL will hold a benefit concert at the Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, and all the proceeds will go to relief efforts for Puerto Rico. Performers at the even include Joe, JAY-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown, Rapsody, Vic Mensa, Joey Bada$$ and more. For tickets, click here.