Hip Hop artists donating their time to a good cause isn’t new. But while it’s usually through fundraising events or in the form of workshops, Melbourne rappers Fraksha and Scotty Hinds chose a more hands-on approach.
Last week the two Broken Two Entertainment affiliated artists approached their friends and followers on social media, asking for donations. Items of interest were blankets, beanies, socks, boots, jackets and food items. Fraksha and Hinds collected the donated goods from all over the city and then distributed them amongst those who live in the streets of Melbourne, to help them get through the winter months.
Although their campaign is over and it is now too late to contribute, I still wanted to talk to Fraksha and Scotty Hinds, in hope that their initiative will inspire others.
Fraksha: Just being outside, walking around, it's impossible to miss the increase in people having to survive on the streets. So, just seeing that was what convinced us to do something no matter how small a contribution. There has always been people living on the streets, but a hell of a lot of it has been hidden. There's like mini homeless cities in various areas around the city and surrounding suburbs, but a lot of people are getting moved on from those areas. So you now see an increase in people in the CBD fully setting up camp, so people can't avoid it and pretend it's not real now. Take a walk along Flinders, up Elizabeth, Swanston, along Collins – it's ridiculous!
I suppose having a roof over your head is just the most basic thing that we all take for granted every single day. There are a million and one people out there that need help in some way. But for those having to contend with the elements in the middle of winter it's particularly hard, I think. I mean, we were moaning to each other just standing out for half an hour at each collection spot. The irony wasn't lost on us, I tell you!
Fraksha: I've played gigs for particular charities in the past where we've donated money from the door, but this is the first time doing this kind of thing. Initially we were just like "Yeah, let's buy a load of socks, hats and gloves and walk round handing them out". But then we thought, "You know what, we're not big names or nothing, but we do have a bit of a reach within our community. And if some people help us out along the way we could really make this bigger". So we picked three locations that are pretty easy to get to from wherever you are in Melbourne and said, "This is what we need... If you can help, we'll be here at these times. Come link us!" I wanna shout out everyone that came past and helped out no matter how big or small your contribution was. Special shouts to Cass and Strut for their help, which we are really grateful for.
Fraksha: I think everyone can do something, no matter how big or small. There's lots of ways to help, from something small like buying someone a coffee and giving them some time to have a chat - just acknowledging someone as a fellow human and not just walking past avoiding eye contact - to volunteering in a shelter or soup van and all manner of things in-between. If you're not sure what you can do, I would suggest hitting up some local charities, already set up doing stuff in the communities and offering some time now and again.