By Keiana Smith-McDowell, Contributor, DC Music Live
Since 1998, Black Entertainment Television (BET) has worked effortlessly to inform and combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in the African-American Community. African-Americans only make up 13% of the population but, according to the CDC, they accounted for 44% of all new HIV infections among adults and adolescents in 2010. The partnership between BET and the Kaiser Family Foundation has lasted over a decade and birthed the Rap It Up campaign which includes, targeted public service announcements, documentaries, free information and resources and now a mixtape.
Last year producer Nate Jolley and on-air radio personality Jeannie “Kitty of the City” Jones joined forces to produce the very first BET Rap It Up mixtape, featuring local artists like Rashida as well as hip-hop heavyweights Jadakiss and 2Chainz.
This year, Jolley and Jones are gearing up to produce the Ready Set Impact: Rap It Up mixtape 2. The idea for the mixtape, which BET distributes to over 75,000 students on its popular Black College Tour, came from Jolley producing and managing artist BET was interested in. Rashida Jolley, who spent the past year on tour with Lady Gaga, is also featured on the mixtape and is currently on the BET Rap it Up tour.
So what should we expect on this upcoming mixtape? Jones says knowledge and awareness. “One of the primary forms of communication today is music and in the mixtape the main message is to be sexy, be safe.”
You can also expect an exclusive track from Wale and J. Keys on the mixtape, as well as music from DMV up and comer Ace Primo. One of the most consistent messages on the mixtape is to get tested. Knowledge truly is power.
For more information and updates about the Ready Set Impact foundation and Rap it Up mixtape visit http://www.readysetimpact.com or follow the twitter page @ReadySetImpact., and find Nate and Jeannie on Twitter @NateJolley and @JKittyofthecity
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