When you mention breasts in hip-hop it’s usually not with any concern to health. But with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month it‘s worth noting that the disease has touched some prominent members of the community.
On the title track to 1994’s Ready To Die the late Christopher Wallace desperately rhymed that his mother Voletta was diagnosed with breast cancer: “Mom got cancer in her breast/ don’t ask me why I’m motherfuckin stressed..”
Miss Wallace survived not one but two different bouts with the disease and in an interview with HipHopDX she implored women to get examined.
“If I could reach one person, one woman who could walk into a room and examine herself, detect that lump, seek help and get rid of that cancer, I think I would have accomplished a lot.”
Nas’ mother Ann Jones died of breast cancer in 2002 and he memorialized her on “Warrior’s Song” from his album God’s Son.
“Earlier this year I buried my queen in a gold casket/Your mother’s the closest thing to/ God that you ever have kid I’m askin, what would you do at your own mom’s funeral/ Wanna pick her up out of it, this can’t be real”
Nas found out that his mother had the disease in 1999 but chemotherapy didn’t improve her health and she died in his arms on April 5, 2002.
“My mom was a straight warrior,” he told ContactMusic. “I never saw nobody with spirit so up. Her spirit was bigger than that cancer man.She was so peaceful. I was saddened ’cause I saw her in a lot of pain. But I was also relieved when she passed in my arms.”
It’s not just mothers of artists that have been effected by the disease. In 2009 Roxanne Shante revealed that she has been battling breast cancer.
“In March, I noticed a lump in my left breast, rather small at the time and didn’t really know what I was feeling,” she said in an interview with AOL’s Black Voices. “So instead of going straight to the doctor’s office, I started asking friends their opinion and trying to go by their experiences. It was such a stupid move. Well, I figured I was just getting older. A hysterectomy in my early thirties led me to believe that I would be fine. Another stupid move.”
Shante didn’t see a doctor for five months. In August, after losing 40 pounds, she finally went to receive a mammogram. “I was in denial.”
Fortunately, awareness is beginning to spread. On October 9th 50 Cent, Nelly, Flo-Rida and many others will be headlining the third annual Think Pink Rocks concert in South Florida. It will benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, the Boca Raton Community Hospital Women’s Center for Breast Care, and other breast cancer research charities.
If you or a family member are battling breast cancer or you are simply looking for more information, click any of the links below: