Jadakiss and Styles P are working with Juices for Life juice bar to bring healthy food to the inner city. The two members of The Lox, who opened a juice bar in their hometown of Yonkers, New York last year, want to provide nutritional options that aren’t offered in the neighborhoods in which they grew up.
“In the poor communities, it’s mostly the money gets invested in liquor stores and kinda things we really don’t need,” Styles P says.
Jeffrey Brown, founder of Uplift Solutions and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, says that the high rates of obesity and disease in urban communities are not a result of people not wanting to be healthy, but a problem of access. Instead of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, people in urban communities end up in the emergency room as a last resort when they get sick.
“The most uninsured people, the most sick, using the most expensive form of healthcare to cure that problem” by using the emergency room as their healthcare service, Brown says. “So we have a very illogical system.”
Jadakiss remembers having “garbage” to eat growing up. He says he ate fast food and things from the convenience store such as chips, donuts and candy. Both rappers say that as they became successful, they realized the importance of eating healthy.
“As times change, people change, you evolve and you learn about taking care of the body,” Jadakiss says.
Styles P says the biggest advantage of being healthy is having a clear mind.
“When I started seeing change in my thought process is when I really had the upmost respect for it,” he says.
Juice Lee, co-founder and co-owner of Juices for Life, says the New York artists are helping the community out of the goodness of their hearts.
“They wanted to do this thing for the people,” he says.
Styles P hopes that the message of the importance of nutrition catches on despite the stereotypes that eating healthy is an elitist lifestyle.
“It’s something you should spread the word on,” he says. “You’re not too cool. You’re not too gangster. You’re not too fly. You’re not too anything to say, ‘Hey, here’s something good to do. Do it.”
“There’s nothing soft about juicing,” Jadakiss says.
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