Ja RuleRockwilder and Sevyn Streeter were among the artists who attended New York radio station Hot 97’s “Hip Hop Has Heart 1st Annual Lift ‘Em Up Holiday Dinner” at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Queens, New York Thursday (December 12).

“It was a great experience,” Ja Rule said during an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “It’s always a good feeling to come out and lend a helping hand to the community.” 

Also billed as “A Night Of Service & Inspiration,” the event featured Hot 97 donating toys and food to people in need. 

Hot 97 radio personalities such as Angie Martinez and Peter Rosenberg attended the function, as did New York City Council members Leroy Comrie, Donovan Richards and Ruben Willis. 

Ja Rule said at the dinner that that Run-DMC’s “Christmas In Hollis” is the song he has to have on his holiday playlist, while Rosenberg named other selections. 

“I told people last year my sleeper holiday album that I really enjoyed was the Justin Bieber Christmas album,” Rosenberg said. “There’s two or three original songs I really, really liked. Obviously, Jackson 5 ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,’ classic. And for a slept-on holiday treat, totally random and not Hip Hop, the Dixie Chicks featuring Rosie O’Donnell, they did this awesome family Christmas song [‘Merry Christmas From the Family’] that I love. But, I haven’t heard it in a long time.”

The Hot 97 staff said that the “Lift ‘Em Up” event has special significance for them.

“Every year we do tons of concerts, tons of events,” said Jessica Toribio, secretary for the Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation. “But to actually put together an annual event like ‘Lift ‘Em Up’ is amazing.”

Added Rosenberg: “I’m always surprised and moved by the amount of wonderful things the radio station does, more so than any other station I’ve ever been at before. It makes me think about what you take for granted and how easy and wonderful of a life I’ve been blessed to have by the radio station and by Hip Hop in general. I just think about being fortunate and what more can I do throughout the rest of the year.”

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