MTV documentary on issue will air Nov. 24.
Def Jam president Jay-Z will trek to several countries plagued by the world's water crisis for the MTV documentary "Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life," which will air Nov. 24 on MTV stations worldwide.
The rapper announced the international tour, which kicks off in Turkey, at a press conference today (Aug. 9) at the United Nations in New York, where he was joined by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and MTV president Christina Norman. Jay-Z plans to visit devastated regions and interact with families who suffer from the lack of safe drinking water.
"In the beginning, when I was going out on a world tour, I was going out to play music," he said. "But I said to myself, I can't go to these places I've been and not go out and see the people that have been touched by my music for over 10 years. From that morphed, 'Well, I'm not just going to go over there and rap to them.' I'm going to help and see what I can do in these areas."
MTV will also offer additional educational and Internet resources as part of the initiative. "By allowing MTV to document his journey, Jay-Z will be mobilizing a whole new generation of young people who may not be familiar with the water crisis to learn about and take action to help those suffering," said Norman.
"Every 15 seconds a child dies from not having clean water," said Jay-Z. "That's just staggering numbers and I figured that if the information was out and young people knew that these problems exist that they'd get involved."
When asked whether he plans to rap about his experience, a la Kanye West's "Diamonds From Sierra Leone," Jay-Z replied, "I believe Kanye made that song after he became truly entrenched in the problem and he learned about it enough to make a song about it ... I'm inspired by culture and by the things about me. I can't say yes but that's usually how it happens."