October brings on the spook in various ways. Aside from usual haunted house visits and demonizing masks, the month fights back at breast cancer’s sneaky ways with worldly awareness.
In means of educating and pointing fingers, individuals go through lengths to show their support. Like us, here are eight advocates who’ve done the same:
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After losing his mother to Stage IV Breast Cancer in 2014, the happy-go-lucky rapper pursued music and has been working around the clock since.
Down the timeline, Famous Dex signed on Atlanta Records and 300 Entertainment that same year. Going bar for bar with the likes of Rich The Kid, and Black Migo, Dex also released his first solo debut album, Dex Meets Dexter following Kid’s on Apr. 1, 2018.
In accordance, Dex Meets Dexter peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and the Top-10 on ‘The Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums’ chart. To explain this work of art, it invites new listeners to get an earful of his sporadic energy.
Together with shifting beats, ad-libs and dreary mumble-rap Dex Meets Dexter‘s impact in the hip-hop scene raises many eyebrows. One critic even believes that Dex Meet Dexter should be cut in half because “it would’ve been a more enjoyable experience.”
Also a firm believer in Breast Cancer Awareness, Famous Dex inked two pink ribbons, the international symbol of breast cancer awareness, on the center of his forehead and under his eye.
The reason was to commemorate his mother. Last year, he opened up to DJ Smallz during an interview about how his mother’s lost to the treacherous disease impacted him. Dex said:
“My mom was always a happy person. When she was going through chemo, she told us to be strong and to be happy and when she do go, stay happy.”
This follows after Dex posted a picture of himself on Instagram after getting his forehead tattoo. The caption read “I’m Crazy So what “Momma’s Boy” 5-22 Rockstar Lifestyle 4.5.19.”
Giving 115% both on and offstage, the quick-witted and creatively-free femcee known as Sharaya J was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer.
Just as she was chosen to be on FOX’s show ‘The Four: Battle for Stardom,’ Sharaya revealed during an interview with ET how she had to take a couple of seconds to really think about going on the show because she knew that during the process of the show, she would be going through chemotherapy. Sharaya added:
“I’ve had a couple rounds before the show and dealing with some really tough side effects sometimes with it. I just had to pray on it.”
Regardless of her rougher days, Sharaya J didn’t let it hinder her fighting spirit whilst on the show. Instead, Sharaya took it home, in honor of her father who was a part of New Jersey rap crew Double XX Posse.
Losing her hair in the process of chemo, Sharaya went against the odds and got even with signature hats and even bolder deliveries! And in the end, came out undefeated.
Before her appearance on ‘The Four: Battle for Stardom,’ Sharaya signed to Missy Elliott’s label The Goldmind Inc in 2010. Then, she launched her own production company Banji Entertainment LLC in 2016.
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Renown contemporary artist King Saladeen lost his best friend John “JP” Thompson and his aunt Lois Claybourne to cancer. Both had a huge impact on who Saladeen is today.
Making sure that people never forget the loved ones he lost, the Philly artist incorporates their memory into almost every piece of the art he creates.
Pushing the fu*k cancer mission even further, he’s auctioned off his art for cancer research efforts, donated massive portions of his proceeds from his art shows and toy drops, and works hand in hand with the Philly Fights Cancer initiative.
Recently, Beyonce’s father and manager, Matthew Knowles opened up about his breast cancer diagnosis to Good Morning America. He’s apart of the 1% bracket of men who have gotten diagnosed.
In detail, Knowles describes his initial reaction to the show’s co-host, “Of all the things I could get, why would I get this?”
“From a man’s perspective, I’m thinking, ‘Why me?'”
Originally Knowles thought he worked out too hard after discovering blood on his white t-shirt and bedsheets. But when it persisted for days, Knowles knew something was wrong.
Following after, Knowles rushed to the doctor, got a mammogram, an ultrasound, and a needle biopsy before health officials made the official diagnosis.
According to Knowles, from that point on, it was clear that he had breast cancer. Now, Knowles is cancer-free. Eternally grateful for getting a second chance, Knowles hopes to encourage those in the same predicament. “
I want them to know that they can survive this. But it has to be early detection. And I can’t overemphasize the word early,” he said.
Currently, Knowles works on the advisory board for Tunedly, an online recording studio for songwriters. In 2020 he plans on releasing a book called Destiny’s Child: The Untold Story.
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To honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the singer, make-up and fashion mogul Rihanna released a new Savage x Fenty lingerie collection.
Splattered in nothing but pink to represent the cause, Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie titles itself as SAVAGEXTHRIVERS to represent a collective of young women who are surviving with aggressive forms of breast cancer.
Over the course of October, customers will also get the opportunity to learn more about the young women who are modeling the collection.
In a recent video shared on the brand’s social media page, the women sat down to discuss their diagnosis. One of the models named Bianca Muniz says that she was diagnosed with breast cancer at 24-years-old.
“I did not think it could happen at that age, so I decided to be really open about my story, and I started vlogging my entire journey and it created this massive community of women who can relate to each other and it helped me as much as it helped them.”
The collection features a limited-edition Savage X Thrivers Xtra VIP Box that includes the Scalloped Lace Bralette and Scalloped Lace Brazilian, ultra-soft X Rib Pants in Cotton Candy and a Dominoes accessory.
About the line, Rihanna said:
“I want to raise awareness for under-served breast cancer communities and the Savage X Thrivers represent young women of all walks of life living and thriving with cancer. The easiest way for people to get involved and make a difference is by shopping this box and collection.”
In return, all funds will go to the Clara Lionel Fund — which Rihanna founded in 2012 in honor of her grandparents Clara and Lionel Braithwaite — to help support research for different forms of breast cancer.
To list some of Rihanna’s recent accomplishments, she’s been listed as No. 36 on Forbe’s Magazine this past July. Rihanna’s “Needed Me” also peaked at No. 7 on Billboards ‘Hot 100’ in 2016 whilst “Love on The Brain” stapled itself at No. 5 in 2017.
Chance The Rapper
My Auntie Kim lost her battle with Breast Cancer early Sunday morning. She was a warrior and wanted me to share this https://t.co/tb0cqRQzMA
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) May 9, 2017
In 2017, the colorful emcee dubbed as Chance The Rapper raised awareness through his Twitter page, after announcing that his aunt passed.
The cause? Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Calling her a warrior in text, Chance put his Twitter fingers to work and added a link of a YouTube video where his aunt speaks about her experience with cancer.
In the 3-minute snippet, she recalls being diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer, following a visit to urgent care and then her doctor.
“I knew something was wrong, but I thought it was just an infection…If you ask your friends, they’re going to minimize it,” she said.
“‘Breast cancer doesn’t hurt.’ I don’t know how many times people told me that. ‘Breast cancer doesn’t itch.’ No. If your breasts swell. If the skin changes texture and it becomes to look thick like an orange. If they all of a sudden get hot. If your nipple that used to lovely poke out starts to invert…Remember the discoloration. And if they swell, by all means, go to a doctor. The goal of this cancer is to kill you.”
In another tweet, Chance gave his followers some insight on the sickness with hopes of addressing the elephant in the room. Since then, Chance The Rapper’s album Coloring Book peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s “R&B/Hip-Hop Catalog Albums.”
Not too long ago, Chance dropped an album called The Big Day which, in turn, fell at No. 2 on Billboard. As a whole, both albums show huge growth from Chance. Coloring Book is more gospel-inspired whereas ‘The Big Day’ gives the most glory to God because he’s officially tied the knot.
BOSS is building for your community. What does BOSS mean to you? Honored to be apart of this movement. Join us and make yours at https://t.co/qaEmTP07yT@AmericanCancer #BeatCancerLikeABoss pic.twitter.com/c5KEDYyFf7
— Nasir Jones (@Nas) April 17, 2019
Pushing the limit of the pen and pad, Nas changed the game with one story at a time. Referred to as the New York City icon, Nas threw his hometown’s motto in the mix of his verses and cadence.
Thankfully, Nas doesn’t put a stint on what he speaks on. No matter the backdrop, Nas keeps it real, shaking up opposers in the process. But a personal static-shock came to the emcee once his mother, Ann Jones, passed away from breast cancer in 2002.
Following the unfortunate matter at hand, Nas made a statement online, saying that her spirit was bigger than cancer. To further prove his appreciation towards the woman who conceived him, Nas released an album a year later called God’s Son which narrows down on life lessons and street antics all the while serving as a positive outlet for the mourning rap icon.
So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that God’s Son peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Additionally, Nas had a musical tribute in his mother’s honor on the album called “Dance.”
Jhene Aiko and Kerby Jean-Raymond
Team Yagi-San is honored to join the fight against breast cancer and to support those affected by this disease. Get #YOUnited and join my team by getting your Team T-shirt to raise money for @AmericanCancer. → https://t.co/UpvF9fkyFo pic.twitter.com/SRClsd1Y6t
— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) October 15, 2019
Recently, airy vocal artist, Jhene Aiko, and fashion phenom, Kerby Jean Raymond joined forces in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness to co-design the American Cancer Society’s new crisp white tee with light blue and black text.
This shirt comes as a tribute to Jhene Aiko’s brother who died of brain cancer five years ago. To decipher the text, ‘Chilombo’ is spelled out on the front and there are double sevens on the back.
Surprisingly enough, Chilombo is the name of Aiko’s brother and the sevens represent his birthday, July 7. Besides this, there is a red smiley face on the t-shirt as well as the phrase, “Looks like I iz going home.”
Aiko told Vogue,
“The happy face is something my brother spray painted during his treatment, and the quote is something that he tweeted during one of his hospital stays.”
Locally and nationally, they’d like to bring awareness. In 2017, Aiko started the WAYS Foundation, which helps support families affected by cancer.
All in all, it’s big fuck you to cancer. Every year the disease takes 609.640 lives per year in the US. In 2018, alone, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer were diagnosed and those are the people that went in for a check-up.
Pull up on your doctor fam. Prevention is always better than cure. Click the button below to take control of your health, and help reduce your cancer risk.