Big Sean Discusses The Flint Water Crisis & His Mom’s Battle with Lead Poisoning (Video)
For all of the waves he’s been making in Rap music, Big Sean has been equally active in philanthropy, funneling much of his own time and money into various initiatives. As the founder of the Sean Anderson Foundation in his native Detroit, Michigan, the “Bounce Back” rapper is responsible for launching youth-focused programs in the Motor City. However, his activism and fundraising extends beyond the D, namely to Flint. The Michigan town (which is 56% Black) has been plagued with a public health emergency in the form of a water crisis in which citizens have been exposed to dangerously high levels of lead in their water. Only about 65 miles away from Detroit, Big Sean became involved in efforts to rectify the state of affairs in Flint, which has been linked directly to criminal malfeasance at the hands of politicians and other city leaders.
He discussed his work therein as well as his own mother’s health scare from lead poisoning on last night’s (January 24) episode of The Daily Show, where host Trevor Noah called his philanthropic efforts in Flint “unrelenting.” After mentioning that the House G.O.P. has voted to suspend the investigation into how the disaster in the Michigan city started, Noah asked for Sean’s remarks on the ongoing efforts to get people clean water. “I just know that it’s not close to being over,” says Sean. “It wasn’t a natural disaster. It’s something that could have been prevented, and should have been prevented. It’s just disgusting to think about these families and even kids have to go through.” He then shares that his mom suffered “a degree of lead poisoning” that was “very hard for her to deal with.” However, he says through homeopathic and holistic care, she’s bounced back herself.
Sean also says that his mom’s struggle is partly what inspired him to get so involved with grassroots efforts in Flint. “What we’ve been doing is we raised just about $100,000 for Flint on our own through the [Sean Anderson] Foundation, to seek the proper care and not just to get them water.” He then shares some news about his forthcoming album I Decided, saying “on top of that, the last song on my album, I’m featuring the Flint Chosen Choir, just to reach out and show some support. It’s a song called ‘Bigger Than Me,’ and you know, once you hear it, you’ll see why I wanted them to be on that.”
Elsewhere in the extended interview, Big Sean goes into further detail about his new album, which arrives on February 3.