Thursday, September 17, 2009
Rapper Slimchance racks up cash for charity plan
by AnnMarie Costella, Chronicle Reporter
Trying to set a good example for both his young son and other unsigned rappers, Kevin “Slimchance” Taylor is donating some of the proceeds from his latest album to Feed the Children and has more charitable contributions planned for the future
Proving that giving is its own reward, Kevin “Slimchance” Taylor isn’t waiting until he gets signed to a major label to start doing something positive for others. The Jamaica-based rapper plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from his latest album to Feed the Children, a nonprofit global organization that provides food, clothing and medicine to those living in poverty.
“Being that I have a little son it really touches my heart to see that there are so many kids in need,” he said. “I work so hard so that my son never needs for anything and to know that there are kids out there who don’t have anyone to help them, really bothers me.”
Taylor, who considers the album, “Prince of the City Vol. 2,” to be his best work, wanted to make the project even more meaningful by using it as a vehicle to do something beneficial.
The idea came to him at 3 a.m. while watching BET. Although he had seen infomercials for Feed the Children before, this time was different.
“It’s just a really sad state and I couldn’t turn away,” he explained. “I have a thousand DVD movies at home, but I couldn’t find myself at that moment to break away from that television program as I’m seeing these kids and the way that they are living.”
Taylor immediately sent the organization an e-mail expressing his desire to set up a donation project. He originally planned to give them 100 percent of the profits from the first two weeks of download sales, less the host site’s fee. However, since the album is now available on more commercial sites like iTunes and Amazon.com, he has extended his offer to include 50 percent of the proceeds from the first quarter sales on those two sites.
Taylor had to decrease the amount given from the latter because those sites charge $9.99 for the album and have a higher host fee than the original sites that the album was featured on like MySpace.com which only charges $3.00 and had a lower host fee.
Within a few days Taylor received a response from Feed the Children informing him that he would have to fill out some forms to make the offer official, but he was unable to send them back in time, so instead he is going to give them a check for the equivalent amount of the proceeds along with some extra out-of-pocket funds from his production company, Reellyfe Entertainment.
Taylor’s last album, the original “Prince of the City” was downloaded 25,000 times. Within the first 60 minutes of its release, “Prince of the City Vol. 2” was downloaded over one hundred times — more than one album per minute. Because the album is available on eight different sites, Taylor is unsure of the exact amount of downloads to date, but his goal is to donate $10,000 to Feed the Children.
However, the modest rapper is reluctant to take all the credit for his good deed. While the album is the product of his hard work, its popularity is the result of his loyal fan base. To acknowledge this partnership Taylor has set up a blog on his MySpace page asking everyone who downloads the release from the site to add their name to a list, so that he can engrave them on a plaque, which he plans to frame and give to the charity along with a copy of the check and the album.
Ideally, he would like to present the item directly to a representative from the organization during a ceremony at the end of September or October, but the specific details have not been decided upon yet.
Taylor also plans to keep a duplicate of the framed presentation in his home to serve as a reminder to his 3 and a half-year-old son, Jaylen, of the importance of helping others.
“I keep so much hope in my heart,” he said. “I just want to use this music to do so much good and also provide for me and provide for my family and use it to get involved in other area like clothing, movies, television.”
Taylor is currently trying to partner with a clothing company, not to get his own fashion line, but to have others print his logo on their apparel, with 5 percent of the proceeds going to the charity of their choosing.
In the future, he plans to donate funds to help local community-based organizations and would eventually like to start his own children’s charity.
“Some people say that I try to save the world,” he said. “Some people say I think too big. But my father always taught me, you can’t live in this world alone.”
Slimchance derives his name from the negative comments he received when first starting out as a rapper.
“Everyone told me I had a slim chance of making it,” he explained.
But now with four albums under his belt, which besides the Prince of the City volumes include “Diary of an Unknown Hustler” and “New Money, Old Habits,” and an ever-growing group of loyal fans, Taylor feels confident that he has proved his doubters wrong.
Although he has yet to sign with a major label, he says it is because he is being selective about his prospects, not because he hasn’t been receiving offers.
In addition to his musical endeavors, Taylor is also in the process of writing a book called “Diary of a Hustler,” which chronicles among other things his experiences growing up in group homes and watching his mother battle heroin addiction.
For more information on Slimchance, visit myspace.com/tharealslimchance or facebook.com/slimchancetharapper