The Ruff Ryders have come together to create a PSA in memory of a friend and to encourage Black men to get tested for colon cancer.
Swizz Beatz, Jadakiss and Styles P recently released a PSA against colon cancer in tribute to Ruff Ryders producer Jay “Icepick” Jackson, who passed in 2017 at the age of 44 to colon cancer. Their friend helped shape and mold the sound the popular rap group used to take over the hip hop scene in the late 90s.
Now the Ruff Ryders pioneers have joined forces with an organization called FCancer, to drop a public service announcement encouraging other Black men to get tested for cancer before it’s too late. The FCancer nonprofit has a mission to run “digital and on-the-ground programs and events that seek to change the way people think and talk about cancer, ultimately improving health outcomes.”
The org teamed up with the Ruff Ryders frontmen to launch their “Keep Joy Alive” campaign that targets African-American men. Studies show that African-American men have the highest risk rate for getting and dying from colon cancer due to their genetics, stigmas around getting checked, poor diets, and the black community’s lack of access to healthcare.
Swizz spoke on the importance of getting tested.
“My involvement with the campaign came about as a promise to my friend Jay “Ice pic” Jackson,” explains Swizz. “My goal is to make sure everyone knows the importance of being tested as a preventive measure.”
The PSA aims to reduce the need for late-stage colon cancer diagnosis.
“Our target generally despises visiting doctors and doesn’t care much for being lectured about their overall health,” a spokesperson from the project explained in a statement. “That’s why a traditional PSA, laden with stats and a fear-mongering tone, would have fallen flat with them. So, in order to de-stigmatize colon cancer screenings, we enlisted our friends Swizz Beatz, Jadakiss and Styles P to help us launch the Keep Joy Alive platform with an incredibly shareable, trojan horse film.”
“As tribute to Ice Pick, the musicians were filmed in his favorite juice bar, trading heartwarming stories about their friend and urging each other to ‘Keep Joy Alive’ by ‘G-checking your colon,’” the statement continues.
You can view the PSA at various baseball stadiums, including Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Guaranteed Rate Field, and Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Participating NFL teams will also air the PSA including the Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers team stadiums.
Watch the full PSA Here.