The Mama Luke Movement came to Los Angeles on January 27th, where ASCAP hosted a t-shirt signing in support of its mission to eradicate breast cancer. Led by Kangol Kid of old-school hip-hop group UTFO, the Mama Lukers have taken their signature pink t-shirt around the country, getting signatures of hip-hop artists to raise awareness about the deadly disease.
Mama Luke has inspired dozens upon dozens of hip-hop legends to support their cause, including ASCAP members Warren G., Coolio, Mike D (Beastie Boys), MC Lyte, Ma$e, Kurtis Blow, Rahiem (Furious 5), Juelz Santana, Keith Murray (Def Squad), Mellow Man Ace and Milk Dee. The plan is to eventually auction off the autographed t-shirt and donate all proceeds to the American Cancer Society.
After the signing, Kangol Kid explained the story of the Movement: “My manager’s name is Shaunda Lumpkin, and her mom is Gay Frances Lucas. We all called her ‘Mama Luke.’ Mama Luke was like a mother to me. And she had a three-year battle with breast cancer, and lost that battle a little over a year ago. My manager represents myself and a few other classic hip-hop artists, so it only made sense that we reached out to the classic hip-hop community and had them all support us as we walked for the American Cancer Society, in honor of Mama Luke, and to raise awareness and funds for this fight against this dreadful disease called breast cancer. We’ve been successful in doing that. The first year that we walked, myself, Roxanne Shantè, Dana Dane, Joe Ski Love, Force MDs, all of us got together and became one of the Top 10 fundraising teams in Newark, New Jersey for the American Cancer Society.”
Asked why Mama Luke focuses specifically on the hip-hop community, Kangol Kid said “It’s evident that whatever hip-hop touches, it changes. So it only makes sense that we get together and change this thing. It’s also statistically proven that African-American women are the most affected by this disease, yet they get less information. So we need to get this word out so that they can check themselves. Be it self-examination, or going to a doctor to get examined, and do our best to make sure we eradicate this. And so we are hitting that particular community.
“No one’s excluded from this list of who’s affected,” he continued. “But as I’ve been going through this, I’ve found out that a lot of hip-hop artists have gone through this. Lisa-Lisa is a breast cancer survivor. Queen Pen is currently going through it. Roxanne Shantè is a breast cancer survivor. And from Nice & Smooth, Greg Nice, his mom just beat breast cancer. Joe Ski Love’s whole family has been wiped out by breast cancer. I mean, it only makes sense that we all get together and do something to bring awareness and reduce the numbers as much as possible.”
Kangol had these very kind words to say about ASCAP’s continuing support of the Mama Luke cause: “ASCAP in New York City, ASCAP in Atlanta, and now ASCAP in L.A. have all played a role in allowing us to use their conference rooms, to have celebrities come through and sign this particular shirt.I just want to thank you guys for being a part of this. You guys have been backing this movement so incredibly.”
On May 17th, 2012, the American Cancer Society will honor Kangol Kid in New York for his efforts in the fight against breast cancer.
Official Mama Luke Facebook page: www.facebook.com/mamalukegfl
Join Mama Luke Walk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ETWhtdDMLU
"Walk the Walk" Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaTU2Dov-GE