*NEW YORK — Building upon the momentum and public engagement generated by 20 Seconds or More and 20 Segundos o Más, the high-impact music video PSAs that have become global anthems and rallying cries around the importance of handwashing in the fight against COVID-19 since launching in April and July, respectively, Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) today released Behind the Mask.
Behind the Mask is an original new song and music video designed to increase the use of face masks as an effective means of stopping the spread of the coronavirus around the world. It is the third installment in a trilogy of COVID-related music video PSAs produced by Hip Hop Public Health, the New York-based, nonprofit organization founded in 2006 to build health equity through the transformative power of music, art and science. With the number of coronavirus cases continuing to rise around the country while disproportionately affecting communities of color, the goal of Behind the Mask is to proactively address the issue by driving the conversation and debate around COVID-19 safety protocols into action with culturally relevant and compassionate messaging.
Behind the Mask was written by multi-platinum composer Quennel Worthy, and features Grammy®-nominated vocalist Raheem DeVaughn, backed by Grammy®-winning rapper Darryl DMC McDaniels from Run-DMC and the iconic rapper and HHPH Co-Founder, Doug E. Fresh. With medical oversight by Dr. Olajide Williams, Co-Founder of Hip Hop Public Health and Chief of Staff, Department of Neurology, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Behind the Mask utilizes HHPH’s evidence-based behavior change Multisensory Multilevel Health Education Model . The video focuses on proper mask-wearing techniques while incorporating culturally tailored, personalized themes that drive a strong emotional connection to the message, which in turn has been shown to facilitate behavior change.
“There is unequivocal supporting evidence that masks reduce the spread of COVID-19, and this is related to the scientific consensus that the infection can occur from inhaling droplets containing the virus,” says Dr. Olajide Williams. “Masks act as a barrier to these infected droplets of saliva that are expelled when we sneeze, cough, or even breathe heavily. They protect those around us from being infected by us, and this is especially important because of the people in our communities walking among us who do not exhibit symptoms (asymptomatic people). The more people that wear masks, the more we are able to reduce the spread of COVID-19 – and to demonstrate this point, one study from the University of Washington showed that if 95% of the public wear masks, we would avoid approximately 34,000 more deaths by October 1, 2020.”
Hip Hop Public Health created Behind the Mask as the cornerstone of a major public health education initiative that began in April at the height of the pandemic in New York with 20 Seconds or More, followed by the Latino community-facing 20 Segundos o Más campaign in early July. Together, these campaigns have reached over three million people around the world through the viewing and sharing of the videos, significant social media traction and international media coverage.
A running theme encapsulated in the Behind the Mask song is love: how our actions or inactions can dangerously impact those we love, and how, from behind the mask, we are promoting community and neighborhood health, while protecting and saving the lives of our loved ones and those with whom we come into contact daily. The music video PSA features guest appearances by well-known and everyday New Yorkers – artists, public health experts, religious and civic leaders, athletes, media personalities, entertainers and families, all wearing masks or demonstrating proper donning, doffing, and storing for re-use techniques. Among the participants are: rappers Niko Brim and Rob Base; New York Jets linebacker, James Burgess; Broadway legend Irene Gandy; Chief Jeffrey B. Maddrey, NYPD Chief of Community Affairs; Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner; DJ Dee Wiz, touring DJ and Producer; author and poet Jacqueline Woodson; music executive Sal Abbatiello; award-winning broadcaster Cheryl Wills; Rick Patel, Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, New York; radio personality Sasha the Diva; and, virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen (full list of participants).
“Behind the Mask is a love letter and an ode from the people of New York to everyone around the world,” says Lori Rose Benson, Executive Director and CEO of Hip Hop Public Health. “The song’s lyrics literally bring people together with a message of love, unity and hope. Our work is far from over, and we see Behind the Mask as a natural way for Hip Hop Public Health and our supporters to advance our mission of propelling the dialogue and action around COVID-19 forward with kindness and humanity at the heart of our message and towards our goal of stopping the spread.”
Says Doug E. Fresh, “Behind the Mask is a classic R&B-inspired track infused with the forthrightness of hip hop to deliver a vital, lifesaving message. Continuing on this journey with my friend Darryl DMC McDaniels as we join forces with ‘The Love King’ himself, Raheem DeVaughn, will hopefully move people and inspire them to wear a mask to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
Raheem DeVaughn adds, “It was an honor to collaborate with Hip Hop Public Health, Doug E. Fresh and Darryl DMC McDaniels on this project. Everyone has, in some way, been impacted by COVID-19 and we all need to listen and adhere to the message of Behind the Mask as a symbol of love, a symbol of trust and a way forward to a better future.”
As a long-time supporter and Advisory Board member of Hip Hop Public Health, Darryl DMC McDaniels comments, “I know first-hand how music, and naturally, hip hop can impact people in a positive manner. Behind the Mask is a powerful example of this and I am convinced that it will make a difference.”
The Behind the Mask video was produced by IDEKO, a New York-based experiential production agency. To learn more, please visit www.hhph.org and follow HHPH on social at @hhphorg #BehindTheMask.
About Hip Hop Public Health
Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) is an internationally recognized organization that creates and implements multimedia public health and education interventions designed to improve health literacy, inspire behavior change and promote health equity. Based in New York City, HHPH was founded in Harlem in 2006 with the mission to empower youth and families around the country – and the globe— with the knowledge and skills to make healthier choices, reducing preventable health conditions. Through a research-driven developmental process created by Columbia University Neurologist Dr. Olajide Williams (a.k.a. the “Hip Hop Doc”), Hip Hop Public Health works with socially conscious artists and public health experts to create scalable, highly engaging, culturally relevant music and multimedia “edutainment” tools.
The Hip Hop Public Health team, led by physical education veteran and public health leader Lori Rose Benson, is a collective comprised of not only health and education professionals (including nutritionists, public health researchers, teachers, physicians, behavioral scientists, and a student advisory board), but also proven-successful multi-media professionals and A-list iconic rap stars and pop artists including Doug E. Fresh, Chuck D, DMC of Run DMC, Ashanti, Jordin Sparks, as well children’s television writers/producers (formerly of Sesame Street). All HHPH music, videos, comic books, video games and guidance documents are available for free and can be accessed on its online resource repository.
Helen Shelton/Finn Partners
Alicia Keys Surprises Frontline Workers with New Music on ‘GMA’ (Watch)
*On Thursday’s “Good Morning America” Alicia Keys thanked essential workers on the frontline of America’s ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with a trio of songs at a safe social distance.
During the event in New York City to honor nurses Charles Alfred and Chinyere Okoro, the 15-time Grammy winner sang a trio of songs, “Good Job” and “Love Looks Better” from her new album, “Alicia,” and her NYC anthem “Empire State of Mind.”
Keys, 39, also spoke about her upcoming album — her first since 2016 — as well as her new book, “More Myself,” which she considers a “companion piece” to the self-titled album, out Friday. She said on GMA, “The book takes you up to today and the music takes you from today on. It’s definitely about all sides of us as people.
“I have so many sides to myself — we all do — and I’ve been embracing that on this music, so you’re going to love it,” she added. “It’s going to take you to many places and many reflections.”
Watch her interview and performances below or view here at goodmorningamerica.com.
“Good Job” and “Empire State of Mind”
“Love Looks Better”
Anti-Masker Buffoonery: Target Dance Mob; South Dakota School Board; Dr. Phil Grills ‘Trader Joe’s Karen’ (Watch)
*A flurry of anti-masker antics have gone viral in recent days, from the “Trader Joe’s Karen” who now tells Dr. Phil that she is not a Karen, to the man who had to be dragged out of a South Dakota school board meeting, to the “flash mob” dancing maskless through the aisles of a Florida Target.
The Target Tomfoolery involved a bunch of maskless demonstrators – some in MAGA gear – barreling through the store while hollering, “This is America!” and yelling at customers to take off their masks – as Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” blared from someone’s phone. According to HuffPost, the video, “apparently taken by someone shopping in the store, popped up on Reddit, and later on Twitter.”
Swinging West to South Dakota, police physically dragged this maskless man out of a school board meeting about the district’s mask mandate. According to the Mitchell Republic, the man has been identified as Reed Bender, a local resident who has spoken out against mask mandates in the past. He refused to wear a mask during the meeting, even after district officials offered him one. So Superintendent Joe Graves called the cops.
And then there’s this lady, who went viral in June after having a mask meltdown at her local Trader Joe’s in North Hollywood, Calif. She’s gone viral again after appearing on Dr. Phil to explain herself. “I am not a Karen,” she said on the show.
Ellesia Blaque of Philly Vs. Trump: Professor Basically Tells 45 to Shut Up and Let Her Finish (Watch)
*He can interrupt people all he wants to without pushback because he’s the so-called POTUS, but not Ellesia Blaque of greater Philadelphia. Not last night.
The assistant professor of literature at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania was one of the few masked, socially-distant audience members in attendance at President’s Trump’s town hall moderated by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. Blaque told the president that she was born with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that qualifies as a pre-existing condition under the Affordable Care Act. She reminded Trump that “Obamacare” assured that folks with pre-existing conditions would not get charged more by insurers. But she’s still shelling out over $7,000 a year in copays due to her condition.
Her exchange with Trump began: “Mr. President, I was born with a disease called sarcoidosis, and from the day I was born, I was considered uninsurable. That disease started in my skin, moved to my eyes, into my optic nerves, and when I went to graduate school, into my brain.”
Blaque told Trump: “Should preexisting conditions, which ObamaCare brought to fruition, be removed…”
“No,” Trump began while she was still talking.
“Please stop and let me finish my question, sir. Should that be removed, within a 36 to 72-hour period, without my medication, I will be dead,” she continued. “And I want to know what it is you’re going to do to assure that people like me who work hard, we do everything we’re supposed to do, can stay insured. It’s not my fault that I was born with this disease. It’s not my fault that I’m a Black woman and in the medical community I’m minimized and not taken seriously.”
Watch Blaque’s entire moment below:
Trump also addressed questions about the country’s systemic racism and disproportionate police brutality against Black Americans. On both issues, he basically pivoted to defending police officers. Regarding his response to the pandemic, he denied downplaying the virus, as evidenced by his own words in the tapes provided by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward for his new Trump biography, “Rage.”
“I actually, in many ways, I up-played it, in terms of action,” Trump said. “My action was very strong.”
The lies just keep coming. Watch them exit his mouth below:
The CultureCalendar: What's New & Black on TV
- Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip4 months ago
Vanessa Bryant: Pro Athletes Sliding in DMs of Kobe Bryant’s Widow
- Slider5 months ago
Clutch My Peaches!: Cynthia Bailey Reportedly Out and Offered Reduced #RHOA Role to Make Room for Phaedra Parks
- Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip4 months ago
Mike Pence Invites Candace Owens to White House for Talks on Race Relations
- George Floyd4 months ago
Jacob Pederson: St. Paul Police Officer Accused of Starting #GeorgeFloyd Riot [WATCH]
- Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip4 months ago
Trapped in the Closet? Fans Suspect Diddy’s New Girlfriend is Transgender [VIDEO]
- #BlackLivesMatter3 months ago
B(l)ack Stabbing Candace Owens Raising Funds for Cop who Killed Rayshard Brooks – Wants ATL Mayor Fired
- News3 months ago
Ms. Robbie of ‘Welcome to Sweetie Pies’ Claims Son’s Ex Won’t Allow Her to See Grandson [VIDEO]
- Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip4 months ago
Yasmine Jackson: Granddaughter of Joe Jackson Stabbed in Racially Charged Attack [PHOTOS]