Many in the hip-hop community have stepped up in a major way to help the most vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Birdman is one of those people, as he recently announced that he’ll pay rents for residents in his neighborhood of Uptown New Orleans.
The rental assistance was supposed to be for May, but it was pushed to June so all the details could be finalized.
It’s now been announced the funds will come through Cash Money Records, the label Birdman founded with his brother Ronald “Slim” Williams in 1991.
They’ve donated more than $225,000 for the rental assistance, which will go to Forward Together New Orleans, a nonprofit that’s helping families in a myriad of ways during the virus outbreak.
The money will then be given to landlords in Scattered Sites Harmony Oaks properties, formerly known as the Magnolia, Calliope, and Melpomene projects, as well as the properties Marrero Commons and Guste.
Birdman said the rental assistance follows a history of Cash Money helping people from different parts of his community and giving back is nothing new for the label.
“The legacy of Cash Money belongs to the city of New Orleans,” he said in a statement. “There’s nothing more important to us than giving back to the brothers and sisters who live on those same streets we grew up on — from musicians to service workers to everyday working families. That’s what this label was always about.”
“New Orleans made us and is part of who we are,” Slim added. “We are devastated that this pandemic is hitting our community there so hard and we are committed to doing what we can to help now and in the long term.”
The rental assistance is just one way that Birdman is pitching in to help families during COVID-19. He’s also been working with local iHeartMedia stations Q93 and WYLD to give out grocery store gift cards worth $100 to listeners.
Birdman and Slim also give back through The Johnny and Gladys Williams Foundation, which they named after their parents.
They held their 23rd annual turkey giveaway last Thanksgiving through the foundation and partnered with Ochsner Health Systems to get people in their community health screenings.
“Thank you so much, Birdman, thank you so much, Slim, for always stepping up and at the right time when it comes to the citizens of New Orleans,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell in a statement.
“In years to come, when we look back on how our city came together to get through the Coronavirus crisis, we will have no better example of leadership than the Williams brothers, these sons of New Orleans who make our city proud today,” she continued.
Cash Money Records is home to some of rap’s biggest acts, including Drake, Nicki Minaj, and now California rapper Blueface. Lil Wayne used to be its flagship artist until he sued the label, Birdman, and Slim in 2015 for $51 million. Wayne is now signed to Republic Records.