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Hip-hop artist performing for canned food drive
Manteca hip-hop artist Defeye (Andrew Bell) stands outside of Rocko’s Sports and Spirits with Khalifa Brown. Bell is scheduled to host a hip-hop event on Dec. 16 with DJ Adment to collect canned goods for the Second Harvest Food Bank. - photo by Photo Contributed
Andrew Bell doesn’t like all the negativity associated with the hip-hop culture.

And rather than sit idly by and lodge complaints, Bell – who performs under the moniker “Defeye” at local shows – has decided to step up and do something about it.

On Thursday, Dec. 16, Bell will perform at Rocko’s Sports and Spirits along with a handful of other emcees at an event that requires a minimum of two cans of food to gain entrance – following in the long hip-hop tradition of community involvement, activism, and support.

“I really wanted to do something that helped the community I came from and grew up in,” said Bell – who now resides in Sacramento. “I think it’s responsible to teach people today that hip-hop was initially about nurturing your community – that it didn’t always have that gangster connotation that most people link it with today. It was a source of inspiration and artwork, and the first thing that people did was take care of the people that came out and supported them.”

While the first event drew a fair amount of support, Bell is hoping that through a grassroots promotional effort and word-of-mouth advertising he’ll be able to draw an even bigger crowd to collect even more food just a week before Christmas rolls around.

Even though the minimum amount of canned or non-perishable food items that can be donated to gain admission seats at two, Bell encourages people to clean out the cupboard of all of the food items that never get eaten but never get discarded either – instead putting them to good use with families and people in Manteca that would love to have any sort of food stockpile to stave off the hunger that affects them on a daily basis.

“Everybody has that one shelf that has the canned food that nobody ever eats, but nobody gives it away either,” he said. “It’s time to clear that cupboard out. We want to make this a monthly event so that we can help provide this service to people throughout the year.

“People are hungry all the time, and if the least we can do is bring some canned food down to a place like the Second Harvest Food Bank, at least we know we’re doing something to help meet that need.”

Rocko’s has long been a regular performance spot for Bell and his fellow hip-hop heads, and as way to payback the establishment for his support – and to show the public that the hip-hop culture is nothing to be afraid of – he has turned to the local establishment to once again host a series of shows.

Scheduled to perform are Defeye and DJ Adment as well as selected guests. The show is set to begin at 9 p.m. Rocko’s Sports and Spirits is located at 757 N. Main Street.