Local rappers hold hip-hop benefit for Haiti

UnicusHarry and Jimmy Phivibert raised $4,000 at the Tuesday show.

by mackenzie collins

Bar-goers and hip-hop fans drank beer and tried Haitian cuisine for charity at Nomad World Pub near the University of MinnesotaâÄôs West Bank. Local hip-hop artist UnicusHarry and his brother Jimmy Phivibert hosted a benefit concert, Hip-Hop for Haiti, to raise money to donate to the Haiti relief effort. The brothers, originally from the Port Au Prince suburb Pétionville, wanted to put together a relief benefit as soon as they could, Phivibert said. The benefit raised more than $4,000, which UnicusHarry and Phivibert said they will donate to a variety of different programs they feel will actually go directly to the Haiti relief effort. âÄúWhatever you guys donate tonight is going straight to Haiti, not to anyoneâÄôs bank account,âÄù UnicusHarry said. Both artists said they felt fortunate that their cousins and uncles survived the earthquake that hit HaitiâÄôs Capitol Jan. 12. âÄúThe thing IâÄôve been stressing to everybody and my family is that although weâÄôve done stuff for people back home, we could do more,âÄù said Phivibert. âÄúWeâÄôre going to have to keep this going, keep doing shows, benefits, because the country has always been in trouble âÄî the earthquake just accentuated it.âÄù Nomad World Pub offered up their location for the benefit, and more than 15 artists performed to raise money through donations at the door from attendees. Matt Thiede, a Hip-Hop for Haiti audience member, said it has been difficult for him to comprehend the loss of life from the earthquake. The quake killed an estimated 200,000 people, left 250,000 injured and 1.5 million homeless, according to the European Union. âÄúIâÄôve been trying to figure out different ways to help, and this is a good way to plug into the arts and culture community as well as benefit the relief effort,âÄù Thiede said.