By Marshall A. Latimore / The Atlanta Voice
Lawrenceville-based rapper Offset—of the chart-topping hip-hop trio Migos—announced Tuesday, Sept. 19, his plans to team up with the American Cancer Society in an effort to mobilize his fellow artists, corporate sponsors and fans to raise $500,000 for the organization.
Offset made the announcement during a launch party he hosted at Main Event Entertainment in Cobb County, where he spent the day with teens and young adults whose lives have been impacted by cancer.
Among the smiling faces of teens and other youth, the “Bad and Boujee” rapper shared his personal connection to the cause of fighting cancer — a connection that preceded his success in music.
“I am thankful to be partnering with the American Cancer Society to help save lives against this horrible disease,” Offset explained. “It’s especially important for me to give some love to my community and do what I can to help.”
Offset’s inspiration for working with the American Cancer Society is his late grandmother, Sallie Ann Smith, a significant role model in his life who died of bladder cancer in 2012.
After Mrs. Smith’s cancer diagnosis, her family learned firsthand about the positive impact the American Cancer Society programs and services make on families.
Offset is honoring his grandmother through this campaign by helping raise funds to promote cancer prevention and access to care in underserved communities.
“It was really tough losing my grandma to cancer and one of the hardest things I have dealt with in my life,” he said. “She motivated me to do my best and ‘go for it;’ one of my biggest coaches.
Offset’s mother, Latabia Woodward—an American Cancer Society supporter and volunteer for over a decade—is proud of her son. She too attended the launch event and discussed her longtime work with the American Cancer Society and as well as her excitement about her son’s new partnership with the organization.
“Losing a loved one to cancer is devastating, and we need to continue to help educate our communities about early detection and screening guidelines,” Woodward said. “I am incredibly proud of Offset’s desire to help save the lives of others, genuine heart and talent as an artist.”
Offset’s bandmates Quavo and Takeoff, along with their record label Quality Control Music, have also pledged their support to the campaign, by rallying their networks to help Offset reach his fundraising goal because cancer has “impacted all members of Migos.”
“We’re proud to support Offset’s efforts to help raise money for the American Cancer Society, so they can address cancer in underserved communities,” Quavo and Takeoff said. “We encourage all our fans to donate if they can.”
Despite recent progress against cancer, not all Americans have benefited equally. According to the American Cancer Society, African-Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial/ethnic group in the United States for most cancers.
The causes of these inequalities are complex and reflect social and economic disparities. Much of the disparity is due to unequal access to health care.
Money raised through this campaign will also help fund an ACS Research Grant focused on bladder cancer research. Fans who donate money will also be automatically entered into a draw to win a shopping trip with Offset in Los Angeles.
“We are honored that Offset chose to work with us. His inspiration and support for the American Cancer Society are one that makes him a unique artist—one who wants our world to be better,” said Sharon Byers, chief development and marketing officer, American Cancer Society. “Offset’s fundraising campaign is a significant opportunity to leverage the music industry and his contacts to support our mission which is why we are very appreciative to be able to partner with him.”