It's the week of Thanksgiving. You're shopping, steeling yourself to visit family, wrapping up things at work before a long weekend. Meanwhile, Oakland rapper Mistah FAB will be on the streets of Oakland, giving away turkeys and meals to struggling residents of his neighborhood.
FAB's fourth annual turkey drive begins today, with a mass feeding of free Thanksgiving meals at the corner of 45th and Market streets in North Oakland. It's the first of two events he's got planned: On Thursday, FAB will be out at housing projects and in the streets giving away about 300 whole turkeys to low-income families.
"They're going to be like, 'Yo, you just delivered a turkey!'" FAB says. "Imagine being poor and growing up in the ghetto, and you answer the door and someone handing you a turkey!"
The turkey drive is just one of FAB's charity events: He also does a backpack giveaway for kids before school starts in the fall, a toy drive around Christmas, and recently organized a celebrity basketball game. The Oakland rapper kick-started fundraising for the turkey drive with a $3,000 donation of his own money; so far, he's raised almost that double that amount through Paypal.
For FAB -- who grew up near the corner where today's feeding will take place -- the events are a way to help out the community where he was raised. Following a rough period that saw FAB's mother lose a difficult battle with cancer earlier this year, and his brother incarcerated under the three strikes law, Fab says he wants do to something positive for his neighborhood.
He sees the charity efforts not as a substitute for music -- he's already put out two mixtapes this year, and is preparing to release a third on Dec. 6 -- but as a complement to it.
"This is the same spot I once distributed drugs," FAB says. "I stood on that corner, I watched people die on that corner, I watched people mess up their lives on that corner, and now, this is the reconstruction of my community. I have to play a part in that because I played a part in the deconstruction of my community."
Today's turkey feeding runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and is open to the public. Donations can be made via Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org.