His brief career has seen him earn three Top 10 hits, but Fetty Wap had a meeting this week that impacted a fan's life more than any one of his biggest singles.
A quick look at Fetty Wap’s Instagram will reveal a flick with a fan of the New Jersey rapper, smiling and flaunting a fresh chain while laying in a hospital bed. “Kept my word, Lor bro was Happy as hell ya should’ve seen his face,” Fetty captioned the post.
According to XXL, the boy in the photo is a Richie Artis, a 17-year-old who has been battling prostate cancer since November, after overcoming brain cancer in 2002.
Fetty Wap visited Richie in his Virginia hospital room, gifted him a 1738 gold chain, and nicknamed him Richie Zoo, making him an honorary member of Zoo Gang.
Celebrities have always participated in programs -- for example Make a Wish -- where they're connected with children who have terminal illnesses or special needs. But social media has made it even easier for children to directly connect with their favorite artists, and for the artists to reach back out to them without a middle man. It’s also become easier for artists to use their social followings to rally support behind those effected.
Fetty Wap isn’t the only artist to do so: Big Sean, J. Cole, and countless others have done the same, and very recently we saw Drake honor a fan who passed away from cancer, and DJ Khaled give a chain to a fan with a rare bone disorder.
It’s heartwarming not only to see these artists embracing their fans, but to see the bravery of these children who are still smiling while fighting life-threatening battles, and by all accounts despite what idea mainstream America may have of the "Trap Queen" star, Fetty Wap appears to be one of the most accessable, warm-hearted artists.
Sometimes it truly is bigger than hip-hop, and if you're feeling inspired, I highly suggest you donate to a CrowdRise fund to help cover expenses for young Richie's cancer treatment.
By William E. Ketchum III at @WEKetchum
Photo Credit: Instagram