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2015 Essence Music Festival - Day 2

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

Health and hip-hop are coming together to help educate inner city youth.

Last night, Hip-Hop Public Health hosted their first “Health in Key Gala,” which used music as the message and popular artists as messengers to give economically disadvantaged elementary school-aged children the information and tools to improve health literacy and foster positive behaviors.

The gala was hosted by HHPH founder and legendary artist Doug E. Fresh and honored a slew of celebs, including Russell Simmons, Jordin Sparks, Ashantiand more.

We spoke with Doug E. Fresh about his duties as one of the organization’s founders and what health means to him.

On health & wellness:

“Health and wellness to me means taking care of mind, body, and spirit. It’s about the whole package, not just about exercising.”

On the role hip-hop plays in influencing the youth to live healthier lifestyles:

“Hip-hop brings awareness. We gotta let these kids know: Eat better, feel better. Kids are saving their parents’ life with what we’re doing. We’re also speaking with Michelle Obama and trying to get her to embrace our program and to link with hers.”

On honoring Russell Simmons: 

“Russell is being honored because he’s accomplished the balance of body, mind, and spirit. He’s been a statement for everybody.”

On how kids in inner city neighborhoods who don’t have access to healthy foods can make better choices:

“They have to research closer. Get what you can. Be conscious of portion control. Instead of buying the soda, get water or juice. When I travel, I gotta figure it out. You have to improvise.”

Go to HHPH.org for more info.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

 

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