Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune

Hip Hop 4 Hunger food drive benefits Salvation Army food bank

“I was really missing shows, so that was a big part of where this came from.”

Missing the adrenaline of performing in front of a live audience, a group of lakecity hip hop artists opted for the next best thing. And, in the process, decided to do something good for the community.

“I was really missing shows, so that was a big part of where this came from,” said Williams Lake hip hop artist Bryan Delaronde, who goes by the stage name Bioson, on hosting the first Hip Hop 4 Hunger Food Drive Facebook livestream event in the lakecity.

Pulled together on four days of planning, Delaronde recruited the talents of a few, fellow lakecity hip hop artists: CassCity (Cassidy Porter), Sal the Sinner (Jordan Salazar) and Fate (Franklyn Boyd).

The quartet asked CJ’s Southwestern Grill owner Cathie Rossignal if they could host a livestreamed show at her restaurant, and she happily obliged with the venue.

Hip Hop 4 Hunger took place Saturday night, Nov. 14. Viewers were asked to drop off two, non-perishable food items, or cash donations, for the Salvation Army food bank, in exchange for a chance to win official artist merchandise.

Rossignol extended the food drive into the CJ’S Southwestern Grill brunch on Sunday morning, offering a 20 per cent discount for those who donated. She said she plans to carry through collecting donations until the last Sunday before Christmas, Dec. 20.

“I’ve been working with them [local hip hop artists] for years,” Rossignol said. “So anything we can do to keep things going and help out a little bit is a bonus.”

READ MORE: Local talent shines at hometown hip hop concert

Delaronde noted everyone was chomping at the bit to get back on stage since COVID-19 put a screeching halt to live, musical performances.

“For me, personally, I was eager to try out my new songs I’ve written in the last eight months,” he said.

Porter said while she usually gets nervous for up to two weeks before a show, once she got on stage she “felt at home.”

“It felt good to be back up there, and I feel like at this, small level — even if you have any type of platform to do good — I was happy to do it, and look at all this food,” she said, citing the amount of positivity that she thought came out of the event.

Boyd, meanwhile, who, at just 17 years of age and a relative newcomer to the lakecity hip hop scene, said she had a blast.

“I kind of liked there was no audience,” Boyd said. “Less pressure.”

Delaronde said he’d like to thank his co-workers at Quality Excavating for helping to donate to the food drive, and plans to host another event leading into the holidays — possibly a gift and toy drive to benefit children.

“Earlier in the day [I started planning this show] I had been talking to my daughter about paying it forward,” Delaronde said.

“I gave her the run down — I don’t know if she understood — but it kind of came from that, and just about helping the less fortunate.”

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Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune