JOAQUIN “WAAH“ DEAN, trailblazing CEO of one of Hip-Hop’s most successful record labels, RUFF RYDERS, popped in on the ShuBangaShow to talk to me about his latest endeavor, RUFF RYDERS 2 THE RESCUE, a non-profit organization created to save our youth by bridging the gap between the streets, the music industry and politics.
Over the last 25 years RUFF RYDERS has developed a brother/sisterhood within the community and maintained a brand that represents respect, integrity and consistency. Besides their car/motorcycle clubs and clothing line, their musical empire has sold millions of records and launched the careers of DMX, EVE, THE LOX and SWIZZ BEATS. “It is a blessing for us to be around this long and still be true to the game. GOD gave us the grace to overcome the adversities we faced along the way and the strength to withstand the pressure throughout the years. I’m a firm believer that without resistance there can’t be any success.”, says WAAH.
WAAH and the RUFF RYDERS are taking a hands-on approach to helping the community save its youth with their new initiative, RUFF RYDERS 2 THE RESCUE. “Our mission is to embrace the youth and give them the tools they need to achieve their goals. You have to have a vision and actions that follow or you won’t understand where you’re going or how to get there. That’s where we come in. When you’re a RUFF RYDER you are part of a family. This family sticks together and uplifts each other and that’s how we plan to build up our communities.”
RUFF RYDERS 2 THE RESCUE has devised a plan of action to serve the youth that includes providing gang violence intervention, 24-hour protection in high-crime neighborhoods and offering mentorship, sports and music programs. “Our youth need strong, positive leadership from people they can relate to and who genuinely care about their well-being. We need to prepare them for their journey through life.”
WAAH believes that bridging the gap between the streets, the music industry and politics is the key to resolving many of the issues facing the youth in our communities. “The young people in this generation don’t have OG’s guiding them and steering them away from trouble. There’s no OG mediating and squashing beefs in the hood which has led to a lot of senseless deaths that could have been avoided. We are stepping in to alleviate these problems.”
As we all know, the music industry has become obscenely wealthy off of Hip-Hop culture, selling death and saturating the youth with negativity. WAAH and RUFF RYDERS 2 THE RESCUE are are setting the tone and holding these record label heads and executives accountable. “The industry has exploited our culture to the highest level, therefore they have a responsibility to engage in the support of the communities that are making them rich. We need to have a system in place for the industry to give back on a large scale and it’s our job to make sure they respect and honor this. We need to be a united front and stand up against these entities.”
The youth are a vital part of the future and WAAH is determined to use his influence and resources to save them. His son is currently head of the YOUNG RYDERS, a motorcycle, car and music culture club for the millennials. “I’m very proud of my son and I love this generation! They are free-thinkers and so entrepreneurial. We can achieve a lot with these fresh, young minds once we show them that it’s possible to rise above the negativity and become successful. And who better to show them than the RUFF RYDERS? We have respect and love in the streets, the industry and the spiritual community.”
We salute WAAH and his team for working tirelessly to build healthy, safe and productive communities for our youth to grow up in. RUFF RYDERS 2 THE RESCUE is happily accepting volunteers and donations to their cause. For those interested in being a part of this beautiful movement visit their website:
RUFF RYDERS tells us we should be on the lookout for new music from DMX… 🤫