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Jay-Z Gets a Little, Gives A lot

Jay-Z has lots to celebrate. His successful Rocawear clothing label, beautiful girlfriend Beyonce, and last week he had his best sales ever for Kingdom Come. He topped the charts, tying the Rolling Stones for the third most number one hits. Now that he has conquered the charts again, he is moving on to bigger and better things like doing good deeds. The rapper is concerned about the state of drinking water in third world countries. So much so that he invited MTV to follow him around on his recent trip to South Africa to gain awareness for the cause. Here are highlights:

"I was looking for a cause to attach myself to," he said. "I knew I was going to some places where there was problems and as soon as I came across the problems of water, and seen the numbers that were attached to it, I was like — this is it....Three people die every three minutes … from easily preventable diseases."

In the town of Luanda, Angola, he followed 14-year-old Bela, who must fetch and carry 40 pounds of water, twice a day. When he offered to help share the burden and carry the water on a one-half-mile trek, he was taken aback by the sheer strength that was required.

"It's not only 40 pounds … it's water so it moves," he said. "And the roads, they aren't paved. It's not like walking on perfectly paved Fifth Avenue. You're walking on rocks and it's a dirt road and the water is moving. I couldn't walk to the end of the block holding it. I had to switch hands about three times."

"It made me realize that as tough as we had it — and there are tough neighborhoods in the places that I grew up — but that's not the bottom," he said. "You know they say 'I'm from the bottom.' It's not really the bottom, because you have water, and roads [that] are paved, and you can go to school … You don't have to play out in open sewage. Now that's the 'hood."

Check out the whole documentary which is called Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life on MTV's website . Looks like he and Matt Damon have something in common. We love it. For more pics of Jay-Z performing in NY just

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Join The Conversation
stone_soup stone_soup 10 years
I read that if you have clean drinking water and a roof over your head, you're in the top 20% percentile in the world. A good wake-up call for Jay-Z. ____________________________________ Don't tick me off. Or you'll get it.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 10 years
I'm a huge Jay-Z fan (I love ALL music) and it is SO NICE to see a rapper concerned with more than bling. Huge props to him. ~* “I think the thing to do is to enjoy the ride while you're on it.” -Johnny Depp *~
ShouldBeStudying ShouldBeStudying 10 years
Reading that almost made me cry !!
MaryxKateHudson MaryxKateHudson 10 years
loooveee him! xoxo
ethiopian_princess ethiopian_princess 10 years
Can't stand him either. He is a hit-maker when many producers are involved, but he's also a him-bo. Regardless, I respect when people get genuinely involved. Y'know, like carry water, sit with people they're supposed to be helping, not turn trip into safari vacay. Totally respect what he's doing.
Ginger Ginger 10 years
Three number one hits and I have no clue what he sounds like. Guess I need to leave the toy box a little more. But I love the cause he picked and how he articulates it so selflessly.
BlondeSugar BlondeSugar 10 years
I saw him being interviewed last night. After that and now after seeing this article, I'm glad to see he's turning around a little. Good for him for doing this. It's really nice to see him getting involved. I love this celebrity trend of helping people!
paigesweetkisses paigesweetkisses 10 years
agree with pad
Padraigin Padraigin 10 years
I can't STAND Jay-Z, but I respect the hell out of what he's doing and how he's perceiving the situation in Africa.
azucar_maddy azucar_maddy 10 years
Well said, Luna.
JK-Boogie JK-Boogie 10 years
Not a fan either...a few of his songs are ok but I am tired of rap in general....they all talk about guns, ho'es, drugs and how much money they have....what happened to good rappers? who used to rap about intelligent stuff like Run DMC, Grand Master Flash etc....I am so bored of knowing how many ho'es they have in different area codes....yawn
DarlingDA DarlingDA 10 years
I think it's absolutely magnificent Jay-Z is giving back without trying to press his beliefs on anyone, a la Madonna and her Kabbalah clause - she promised to build wells and schools in Africa, but only if the people convert to Kabbalah.
Luna13 Luna13 10 years
i love it when celebs ackowledge that there are people suffering and struggling to get through their everyday lives when they have everything handed to them on a plate.
Daisy6264 Daisy6264 10 years
Not a fan.
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