Should Celebrities Record Themselves Giving Back?

Celebrities are often praised when they do philanthropic acts. For all of the public success and the money that is (sometimes) flashed or flaunted on social media, it’s vital to know that some of their monies are going to a great place. But there have been some instances where the act of giving back looks like just that: an act. One of the latest celebrities accused of giving back in a distasteful manner is rapper Wack Flocka Flame. The Atlanta rapper is being accused of attempting to gain praise from social media for posting an act of kindness. Earlier this week, the “No Hands” rapper and reality star shared a group of photos in which he is seen with a less-fortunate woman who he gifted shoes.

In the post’s caption, the rapper explained that he saw “this Queen walking barefooted in the cold.” The scene left him heartbroken as he said he viewed a plethora of pedestrians “walking past her.” Then, highlighting that “we’ve all got problems,” he posted the photos showing that the woman is no longer without shoes, thanks to his gift.
While many fans appeared on social media to support Waka Flocka’s kindness, some were in disagreement. Disapproving comments like, “You know he could’ve just done the good deed in private and not post her online for everyone to see just to get praised” came about on social media.

With the rise of social media, there has been an uprising of people showing their everyday lives and moves. The unashamed “flashy and flaunting” behavior is heavily prevalent on apps like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and others. But at what cost? Some would argue that it garners massive likes and attention when good deeds are done, but frequently the party on the receiving end is exposed in manners they probably did not initially consent to.

Other stars have been accused of objectionable philanthropy, such as rapper Blueface. In December of 2019, the “Thotiana” rapper was seen on video standing atop an SUV in the Skidrow section of Los Angeles, throwing money at less fortunate people. Folks were seen clamoring to gather as much money as possible while he continued to rain dollars down on them, and his actions immediately drew criticism.

Many on Twitter called the action “disgusting” and “degrading.” One woman who refused to repost the “dreadful” video wrote, “Some might think that’s some ‘baller [stuff].’ Many will think he’s ‘giving back.’ What he’s doing is DEMORALIZING and HUMILIATING ppl who deserve better.” Others questioned why the rapper did not just hand the people the money instead of watching them fight to receive money.

Public displays of giving back are not frowned upon in every case. However, perhaps one of the most talked-about instances would be when Drake debuted the accompanying music video for his 2018 hit single “God’s Plan.” The video notes that its entire budget of almost one million dollars was being given away. Throughout the video, Drake is seen gifting various individuals and institutions in Miami, Florida, with large amounts of cash and other donations.

Since posting that he gifted a pair of sneakers to the Atlanta woman, Waka Flocka has received support from celebrities like Kirk Frost, Fivio Foreign, and Mysonne. Sean Kingston commented, “Real one since day 1 🙌🏽🙏🏽 God bless ya heart!” Noticeably, rap duo EarthGang, signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records, commented that they were led to join with the rapper to “do something this year for the community.”

After receiving some backlash for his act of kindness, the rapper seemingly responded with a meme to his Instagram. “After gossiping about me, please pray for me too. I wanna be perfect like you,” it read. In a subsequent post, he shares another meme encouraging his followers to “ignore any lame [stuff]. It’s not worth your time and energy.”

About John Davidson

John Davidson is a California native who enjoys hip hop music, skiing and traveling international. Davidson graduated from USC majoring in Journalism.

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