By Toure Muhammad -Contributing Writer-
CHICAGO–Antwone “Twon Gabz” Muhammad premiered Getting Through which is a powerful single from his musical documentary The Tumor detailing his personal struggle against breast cancer. The legendary Erick Sermon of EPMD fame joined more than 300 Hip Hop artists, media personalities and supporters who attended Mr. Muhammad’s “Different Shades of Pink” event held Oct. 26, at The Shrine.
It was an emotional evening for Mr. Muhammad who has been courageously transparent during his battle for survival. He’s become the new, if not one of the first faces of men with breast cancer. The lifetime risk of men getting breast cancer is about one in 1,000 according to The American Cancer Society. He was diagnosed with the disease in January 2014.
Hosted by his wife, Lateefa “Teefa” Young Muhammad, a prolific Hip Hop artist and radio personality (Power 92) and Mike Love (Soul 106.3), a veteran DJ and radio personality, the event brought people together for a powerful evening of inspiration, awareness and great new music. DJ Terry Hunter spun records for the evening. Also in attendance was Sundance (Soul 106.3), another veteran Chicago radio personality.
Mr. Muhammad plans to use the project as a platform to educate, motivate and inspire people. “Love begins with self and until we start loving ourselves more, we cannot project love to anyone else. We have to go to the doctor and start practicing preventative health,” said Mr. Muhammad adding, “Particularly as men, we see mom and children in the hospital, but we don’t see men.”
The event title is the name of a 501c3 non-profit organization started by entrepreneur Erika Bracey, a four-year breast cancer survivor. Different Shades of Pink seeks to foster public awareness of breast cancer and to assist in providing “right now” needs for breast cancer fighters and survivors and their families.
“I met this sister at the very beginning stages of my fight. What I love about his sister is what she does for the community,” said Mr. Muhammad. Together, they shed light on the plight of Black men and women, an often underserved and invisible face of the fight against cancer.
“Twon is a warrior and this is a war on cancer. He’s in a very unique position because men don’t think they can get cancer. He’s a great messenger because he’s open and transparent,” said Ms. Bracey.
Hip Hop pioneer Erick Sermon attended to show his love for Mr. Muhammad. “It was more personal than anything else. I’m like family so when he asked me to show up, it was no problem,” said Mr. Sermon who has battled his own health issues in the past.
“I had a slight heart attack. Men do not go to the doctor. Luckily, Twon was able to get a symptom. Some people don’t get a symptom until it’s too late,” said the rap pioneer.
“The Minister (Honorable Louis Farrakhan) speaks about it too. Take a half hour to yourself. Get into a walk or something and just realize what we are eating,” said Mr. Sermon.
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