Shining Example 021: HighTyde
By Mr. Joe Walker

 Negativity and selfishness gets great publicity in our social networking, indirect-contact society. You’d be led to believe the world’s running low on good people, that no one cares for or respects one another anymore. Their only concerns are themselves; and when they’re in need, no one would willingly lend them a hand without reward.

 This is not the case. Kind, caring, selflessly-generous people still exist. HighTyde is a shining example.

 An acclaimed hip-hop artist and philanthropist, the hardworking Battle Creek, MI native is never content with just rapping, part of the reason he departed Word/Warner Bros. in 2004 for his independence. Quite literally, HighTyde does it all; he produces music, engineers recording sessions, graphic designs, promotes events, markets releases, records himself and others, and, with his #MissingLinx partner Prezidential Poe, directs videos for his HighTyde Films.

 HighTyde also directs good will toward his community through his annual charity concert, Project Cypher. Its thousands of dollars in proceeds are donated to families of special needs children.

 I asked HighTyde to tell me about a time he did something nice for someone he didn’t know. Here’s what he shared.

 “Back in 2014 when it was time to start prepping for the first annual Project Cypher, I always had a goal in mind that the event was supposed to be more than just a hip-hop event.  I knew it was a chance for hip-hop to give back to the community.  And this being my first foray into promoting an event, I honestly wasn't even sure how or where to begin.

 But I knew two things going into this event.  First, I wanted to bring in artists who were relatively unknown and give them not only a chance to connect with a crowd that otherwise may have never listened to them, but to also show somehow that hip-hop cared about our community.

 A little unknown fact about the first Project Cypher: it wasn't billed as a charity event.

 Right before the event took place in May of 2014, there was a woman by the name of Brandi who was actively trying to raise funds through fundraisers and events to purchase a seizure dog for her young son, Christian, who had been suffering from multiple seizures.  And it wasn't until the day of the event that I realized the whole purpose and connected the dots. Why aren't we as artists doing more to help the people that support us? 

 So with little to no time to promote, we went into the event, we performed, we had a good time, and by the time the show was over, I collected all the ticket sales, merch sales revenue, and live on stage I donated it to Brandi and Christian's seizure dog fund, unbeknownst to anyone else involved.

 This set off what I believe to be Battle Creek’s first true annual hip-hop-for-charity event, by giving to people we don't know, but are part of our community. 

 In May 2017 we will be on our fourth year, and the community of artists, fans, vendors, and sponsors keeps continuing to grow, all because on the first year. We gave back to someone who needed help more than we did.”