On a frigid and snowy December 15th in the heart of Minneapolis, people gathered together around a stage that was on fire. The third annual Toys 4 Tots brought people together for a fun night of music and giving. An event hosted and began by Keith Murray, known as Corleone Banks on stage, and joined by Jamari Dwynell Roland, offers fans a free night of music with the donation of a toy that would be later donated to Gillette's Children's Hospital.
With the bill boasting some of the Twin Cities finest in the hip-hop scene, the night was off to an early success with Black GMS taking the stage first, playing a few hits off his freshly released GMS Vol. One mixtape. Omie the Homie, known for lyrical prowess and a smooth flow had the crowd vibing out as the night began to pick up. He maintained his smile throughout, reminding everyone that it truly was a happy night to be enjoying music.
Coming off big show after big show with names like The Game, MGK, Fat Trel and more, Lyric Marid took the stage to unleash singles from his upcoming project Sota Seoul. Trust a Soul, being a personal favorite of mine, was a crowd pleaser that began the accent to an energic peak. His successor,
His successor, Aftrmind, brought an energy reminiscent of Odd Future. Bringing out Devon Reason for a song that saw the crowd come to the brink. His unique style and high energy music fed the crowd and had them ready for the main event.
Corleone Banks and Dwynell Roland took to the stage together, trading off tracks and even doing a song they worked on together, SHINE. Corleone performing live for the first time since the last Toys 4 Tots didn't skip a beat. Playing off the energy of the crowd and fluently interchanging songs with Dwynell. As noted in the earlier interview with Dwynell he takes his live performances as seriously as any artists I have seen and this event was no different. Whether its forty kids on a snowy night for charity or three thousands at the Cabooze for PROF outdoors, he never fails to bring energy to the stage.While the stage was filled with talent and star power, the real stars of this performance couldn't make it. The event was very personal to the performers and myself included. The children were not forgotten in all the fun
While the stage was filled with talent and star power, the real stars of this performance couldn't make it. The event was very personal to the performers and myself included. The children were not forgotten in all the fun as the end of the night saw a table full of toys waiting to be delivered. A voice and fame, even at the local level, is not something to be wielded by the weak. It takes a strong man to see past himself and use his power for the betterment of others and this is exactly what was seen at Honey's for Toys 4 Tots. Over the years I have been apart of and seen many exciting events, but this is one I won't soon forget. I would like to personally thank Jamari Dwynell Roland, Kieth Murray and all those involved for taking a night out of their lives to put a smile on the faces of many children. This night meant a lot to a lot of people, none more than the children who will spend Christmas morning opening up present with their families while continuing to fight against the ill-fated beginning to their lives. Their strength of these children is a constant reminded to all of us over the Holiday season that togetherness can overcome even the toughest of obstacles.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all those reading and a special shout out to all the children at Children's Gillette's Hospital.