Rapper Nas and City Harvest organize Queens concert to combat food insecurity

By Stephan Cartello • Aug 17, 2021


The legendary Queens-born rapper Nas, who has largely shaped and influenced the rap genre starting with his 1994 debut album Illmatic, will be returning to his home borough on September 23 for a very special performance. The musician is teaming up with City Harvest, New York’s largest food rescue organization, for the charity-minded "Concert to Feed NYC" at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens. It’s Nas’ first concert in the borough in nearly three years.

All proceeds from the show will go directly to City Harvest. Speaking on teaming up with the non-profit organization, which distributes food to over 70 communities and pantries serving low-income families, Nas said, "I am looking forward to returning to stage for a performance in my hometown — especially since it supports a cause [I] care deeply about." The matter is a deeply personal one — a key motif to Nas' art has been exploring growing up in Long Island City's Queensbridge Houses as part of a low-income family.

Tickets went on sale on Friday and range from $75-$500. VIP packages, ranging from $5,000 to an eye-popping $150,000, offer various amenities, including private suites, a chef-made meal, and pre-show access. If the prices seem exorbitant, City Harvest explicitly lists out how many individuals the purchases will benefit. (Ex: The $50,000 Secret Garden Speakeasy Suite helps feed more than 7,000 people per month.)

The concert is likely to include tracks from Nas’ latest project King’s Disease II, which was released on August 6. Over 4,000 attendees are expected to attend the event.

A spotlight on food insecurity is especially vital for New York City residents right now. In a statement, City Harvest laid bare the dire situation an alarming amount of New Yorkers are facing, writing, “During the pandemic, the need for food surged across the city—soaring 41% among all New Yorkers and a shocking 53% among children. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, City Harvest has rescued more than 190 million pounds of food and delivered it, free of charge, to hundreds of soup kitchens and food pantries across the five boroughs—an unprecedented effort that was more than double the amount of food the organization rescued and delivered over the same time period pre-pandemic.”