Popular R&B artist KEM’s rag to riches story is without a doubt the stuff Hollywood movies are made of. The downtrodden rise up, overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to become accomplished members of society who go on to live long and productive lives. But what we don’t see with the Hollywood version, is how those saved from the clutches of despair, manage to stay humble and grounded — and better yet — go on to return some of their good fortune to the less fortunate around them.
That is in large part the reason that Grammy-winning artist KEM is holding his third annual “Mack & Third LIVE: A Call to Service” event on Sunday, Aug. 26 at Cass Park at the intersection of Mack Ave. and Third St. in Detroit.
KEM appeared at Detroit’s African American World Festival on Sunday, Aug. 19 and reminded Detroiters about the much anticipated day-long free concert and food drive to benefit the homeless which will include a headlining performance by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly.
The GRAMMY winning artist knows first hand what life is like on the streets of Detroit, having once been homeless himself.
“Mack & Third is about giving back,” said KEM. “I’ve been fortunate to overcome many obstacles including being addicted and homeless. If it weren’t for organizations like the Detroit Rescue Mission and the NSO, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I want to encourage others in their current situations by offering something tangible like a meal, along with the hope that things can get better. By sharing my music with a free concert, I also hope to inspire others to give back.”
In Kem’s case however, his sincerity is as evident as his talent. The tireless advocate in the fight against homelessness has also partnered with BlackCelebrityGiving.com™ to establish their first summer cause campaign: “Help Us, Help Them,” a national toiletry drive which concludes Aug. 30 to benefit homeless communities across the country.
“The concept of KEM’s free all-day Mack & Third concert event came in 2009, during the nation’s largest economic downturn of our times,” said KEM’s Manager and Project Producers, LLC Owner, Toya Hankins. “We wanted to provide a reprieve for Detroit’s citizens … while at the same time, making an impact for the homeless community. Little did we know at the time that the event would grow into one of Detroit’s largest annual events. We are grateful to all of our past and current sponsors that allow us to continually enhance the event each year. ”