First of all, I would like to state that we are always committed and honored at Pure Mission Entertainment (PME) to use our gifts and talents to empower people and change lives. We strive every day to create hope through the arts and entertainment. As Founder and CEO of PME, I feel that it is my duty to use my God-given abilities to serve for such a cause. My heart was instantly moved to tears when I heard of the catastrophes of Puerto Rico in 2017. I immediately envisioned my own family struggling the way that millions did and currently the emotional battles that residents are suffering after the devastating earthquakes in January 2020.
It’s kind of hard to ignore once you know the truth and facts about the Puerto Rican tragedies. And remember that they are part of the United States of America. So, when they are hurting, we are hurting as well. I couldn’t even imagine if my daughter, Jazmine, would not have the ability to get educated while dealing with the traumatic situations. Many residents are struggling with mental illness issues and I would not want that for me or my family. The kids are having nightmares as a result of the crisis. As a parent that would hurt deeply. This is why it would warm my heart to try and help turn those nightmares into dreams.
After reading the reports that suicide rates tripled, over 280 schools closed and more deaths than 9/11, we were determined to let the citizens of Puerto Rico know folks on the mainland still have their backs. As a singer, songwriter, entertainer and producer, I joined forces with Aaron Emig, my president and partner at PME, to create and release the powerhouse anthem “We Love You Puerto Rico.”
After Aaron told me the story about Dante Sepulveda, a Maria survivor. His mother, Mabel Jimenez, sent him from Puerto Rico to live with distant relatives in Collinsville, IL. He needed to graduate high school so the Bob Emig Foundation paid for his tuition which he gave him enough credits to receive his diploma. The day they dropped Dante off to school and talked to his mother, she said, ‘Thanks for taking care of my baby!’ Aaron immediately said, ‘We got your back, Puerto Rico!’ and that’s when he called me and told me everything. I said the PME team will take care of the rest.
I had some meetings about it. The Muzic Doctorz and I started writing and putting together all these great artists to musically convey, on a global scale, exactly what Aaron told Dante’s mom – that we’ve got their back and won’t let them down. I wanted an anthem-like ‘We are the World’ type feel to it and picked the best artists I know and work with to create solo spotlights that would seamlessly come together and create an undeniable chemistry that would help get our message across. We need to help more Dantes, and with this song PME, we have the right platform to do it. Coincidentally, I happened to lose three dear family members and a rock artist/best artist. I knew during the time we were working on this song, which led me to connect even deeper with what we were saying. It was a beacon of light and hope for me as well.
And now the island is dealing with the earthquakes. Not recovered from Hurricane Maria from over 2 years, Puerto Rico is still waiting on billions of dollars of federal funding. These earthquakes are bringing back emotional triggers from Maria. I can’t believe that hundreds of earthquakes shocked the island and one being a 6.4 magnitude, the largest in 102 years. It only makes common sense for us to help our fellow citizens.
We just released the official music video for “We Love You Puerto Rico” and partnered with the Puerto Rican Society (www.sprstlouis.com) to raise funds for still struggling survivors of Maria and the earthquakes. We are excited to help their mission of representing and upholding Puerto Rican values and culture while supporting education and other charitable pursuits. They do equally great work here on the mainland while working directly with organizations in Puerto Rico. We thought it would be a great fit for all parties and that’s why we are donating 20% of our proceeds from the song to help the cause.
I am grateful for all the artists that performed in the music video including vocal powerhouse Crystal Haywood, 4-time Olympic boxing champ turned vocalist Arthur “Flash” Johnson, Arthur’s wife LaTanya Johnson and rapper Jazzy, my 13-year-old daughter.
I’m still in shock from these recent earthquakes. I have lost sleep and my appetite because my passion has increased even more to help Puerto Rico. If this is upsetting me, I don’t how all Puerto Ricans are managing through these horrible natural disasters. I pray for them every day and hope that we can just be a little bit of sunshine in their lives during these tough times. I ask that you please join us in our vision and mission. Together, we can make difference in the lives of Puerto Ricans.
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