Hip hop artist Tyler Barnes is a single dad looking to make a difference.
“I understand what it’s like, unfortunately, to struggle myself and realized I have my own platform I can stand on and give back,” said Barnes.
Before his daughter was born, Barnes overcame his drug and alcohol addiction and began to turn his life around.
Now Barnes said he wants to reach out to other community members and use it as a tool to teach his daughter the importance of contributing to society.
Barnes, who performs as Jinx, has organized the charity event Hip Hops Toys for Tots for the past three years.
Last year, the event helped 11 families with 30 children in total have a little bit of a merrier Christmas thanks to donations from the community.
Hip Hops Toys for Tots is about helping people in need. Giving a child who might otherwise receive nothing experience the joy of finding a present waiting for them on Christmas morning.
Barnes also strives to change perceptions about hip hop artists. The majority of hip hop artists don’t conform to the stereotypes, he said.
Hip hop isn’t only what you hear on the radio.
“Most of us are grown men and have families ourselves and want to give back to the community,” he said. “Most people have a negative image of hip hop and I want to change that.”
Barnes said people can experience a real hip hop performance.
“We have fun and keep it positive and have a good time,” he said.
Barnes is signed to Independent Generation, Nanaimo’s local hip hop label. He plans on releasing his new album Mic Titan sometime in the new year.
“This is my introduction to the world essentially,” said Barnes.
The Hip Hops Toys for Tots fundraising concert is Dec. 1 from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Cambie, located at 63 Victoria Cres.
The event is for attendees 19 and over.
It features performances by Jinx, SirReal, Seymour Cheddar and special guests Loyal T, Alex Cruz, Wes Paul and T Blaze.
The concert also features a silent auction and raffle. People are also welcome to drop off toys for donation at the event.Barnes said the age ranges for children receiving presents are between six and 14 years old.
Tickets for Hip Hops Toys for Tots are $20 available in advance at NYLA Fresh Thread, Luscious Me, the Edge Barbershop or online at http://bit.ly/2geJYDa.
People can also drop off toys at West Side Alternatives, located at 129 Nicol St.
This year there is also a GoFundMe campaign http://bit.ly/2geMvNJ for people to donate.