Doug E. Fresh and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during the 2011 Soul Train Awards at The Fox Theatre on November 17, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
When hip-hop icon Doug E Fresh first graced the mic, he simply wanted to entertain the masses by doing what he loved. After building his career and subsequent fame, he decided that it was best to use his success to educate and empower others. As a father of five, and vegetarian for nearly 25 years, the 45-year-old believes that good health is essential for a fulfilling life.
“Health has always been an important thing to me. I exercise and try to take care of myself, and drink a lot of water! And I push that to my kids so that they can carry on that same energy,” said Doug E.
So when he partnered with Dr. Olajide Williams, a neurologist from New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, to join in the fight against childhood obesity, he merged two very important components of his life: hip-hop and health. The partnership produced Hip Hop Public Health, a program that uses hip hop as a way to educate African-American and Latino children about obesity and the resulting chronic and acute diseases. HHPH engages and informs students through music, videos, comic books and live shows that tour schools. As the program’s Vice President of Entertainment, Doug E. stated that he “felt like it was necessary to take what people love, which is hip-hop, and use it as tool to get kids motivated.”
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