Hurricane Harvey continues to wreak havoc on Texas, despite recently weakening to a tropical depression, as flooding persists and multiple families and individuals have been displaced from loved ones and from their homes.
While harrowing images of flood-ravaged Texas fill social media feeds, Houston rap legend Scarface experienced the disastrous flooding first-hand. In an interview with Billboard this week, the rapper says the storm was "intense" -- although his particular home wasn't flooded or nearly as damaged as other homes in the surrounding area -- but it’s hardly the worst storm Texas has seen over the years.
“It was pretty extreme that first night, and when you thought it was over, the rain just kept coming,” he tells Billboard. “But that’s really not a big deal to us down here, because it's been happening to us for as long as I can remember and I’m in my 40s, so we’ve always had some tropical storm -- whether it was Alicia, Alice, Rita. We got a lot of water, but we didn't get the wind. They say it’s the worst storm but it could’ve been a lot worse.”
As the storm continued to pierce through the Lone Star state throughout the week, distress heightened and countless celebrities joined forces to raise money for Harvey relief. Houston Texans defensive end J.J Watts’ fundraiser raised over $12 million and Kevin Hart’s celebrity donation challenge surpassed its million-dollar mark with the help of musicians and entertainers such as Chris Brown, the Kardashians, T.I and The Rock and plenty more.
Scarface, born Brad Jordan, says that while the monetary contributions from celebrities are extremely helpful long-term, as of now, families are in dire need of resources like food, clothing and shelter, and that donating to “scamming organizations that claim to help people out but really don’t” won’t do Texans any good.
“They are pledging that shit to the wrong people. Rather than giving to those other charitable organizations, find a family to give that money to. Come down here, ride through the hood, if you see someone whose house is dilapidated and they’re out there with all their stuff on the curb, drop the check off to them,” he says. “Give that directly to the people who really need it.”
The “Mary Jane” rapper criticizes Donald Trump for his poor leadership, saying that Texans have put forth more effort than the president and if anyone is "making America great again," it's the volunteers and donators who stepped up as soon as disaster struck and not the leader of the nation.
“The Texans that are helping out fellow Texans and other people who came in from outside of the state are the ones who are truly making America great. These people put all their prejudices aside and they help whoever is in trouble, that’s the true spirit of this state,” he offers. “These people who are risking their lives to save other people’s lives in a time of catastrophe, they are making America great again, not who you think.”
He continues optimistic about Texas’ recovery: “When disasters hit like this, we always step up for each other. This isn’t the poor, pitiful story for Houston, TX, that’s not who we are. We don’t want pity, we just want some action. Disaster relief will kick in, insurance will kick in, we got us out here more than anything.”