Thanks to my oldest brother I grew up watching ‘YO MTV Raps’.
Hoping that one day I’d know how to rap like Tupac, I’d understand women like Keith Sweat and I’d give back like Young Jeezy.
I still remember the day I arrived in Atlanta, me and my buddy Zues had been hopping from one store to the other. Every store we’d walk in, I’d hear the same music playing and these music videos of a young rapper, who after hitting fame, went back to his home town and distributed food to everybody in need.
That got me wondering who this artist was that was taking over Atlanta. And after the fourth store I couldn’t help myself. I asked the store clerk for the name of this mysterious artist.
His name was Young Jeezy. I immediately bought his album ‘The Motivation’.
It’s been 10 years since that day in Atlanta, but every day I have carried that message of giving back, in my heart.
I started a charity and every year I host a big soccer event at the two Mario Melchiot soccer pitches I own in Amsterdam. Kids of all ages and backgrounds are invited to come spend the day, participate in a tournament and win memorable prizes. Food and drinks are handed out for free and a known musicians come to entertain.
I’ve also been back to my homeland Suriname several times to feed the poor and the elderly. I remember during one of my visits to the senior home I had the pleasure of meeting this older gentleman who told me that he knew my grandfather. He said that he could see much of him in me.
I sadly never got to meet my grandfather, but I grew up on his stories and even in his absence, we lived our lives following his beliefs.
My grandfather was the very foundation of my family and I couldn’t have been prouder to carry his last name, Melchiot.