Flint, MI—DMX’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” echoed through Buckham Alley as families filed into Comma Bookstore for hot chocolate and free toys at Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas event on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022.

Flint United owner and president Kevin Mays (left) and his mother Andrietta Mays-Dicks (right) pose for a picture with Santa Clause during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)

“We just want them to come in and enjoy and have a good time,” said Flint United’s owner and president Kevin Mays. “Not just here, take a toy and get out type of thing, but you know, enjoy one another. Vibe out to the music, relax, kick it, hang out.”

Flint United, the city’s professional basketball team, hosted the event in partnership with Liquid Bidding, a Flint-based online auction website that helped purchase toys to give away to the first 100 children who came through. The team’s partners at McDonald’s helped put together the idea for the event, Mays said.

Flint-based DJ and musician Afrobotk curated a track list full of Christmas bops from hip-hop legends like Ghostface Killah and Run DMC while local artists Zip and Laia each took the stage to perform sets.

Meanwhile, Dr. Aisha Harris, who will soon open up her own family medical practice in downtown Flint called Harris Family Health, set up a table to help connect guests with healthcare.

“Really, just being community, being love, being family is what it’s all about,” Mays said. “This is our home. If we don’t take care of it, no one else will.”

Guests hang out around the toy table during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Children pose for a portrait with toys and hot cocoa they got during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
From left to right, Stacy Walker, Diandre Walker, Alisha Walker and DJ Walker hang out during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Children mix caramel, marshmallows and other sweet toppings into their hot chocolates during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Toys rest on a table during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Lee’Ontae Jackson shows his cup of hot cocoa during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Children pose for a portrait holding toys they just got during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Children pose for a portrait holding toys they just got during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Lauren Gatewood, Jeanette Wiley, Lyric Gatewood and Legend Gatewood pose for a portrait during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Afrobotk, a Flint-based DJ, plays tracks during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Flint United owner and president Kevin Mays gives a shout out to Afrobotk, a Flint-based DJ, during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Hip-hop artist Zip (right) and Afrobotk (left) prepare Zip’s set during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Hip-hop artist Zip performs during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Singer/songwriter Laia performs during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Dr. Aisha Harris, who operates her own family medical practice called Harris Family Health, speaks with guests during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Dr. Aisha Harris, who operates her own family medical practice called Harris Family Health, poses for a portrait Children pose for a portrait during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Leksandro Jackson (center, right), the son of Dorian Jackson who co-owns Comma Bookstore, sips hot cocoa during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Dorian Jackson, co-owner of Comma Bookstore, and his son Leksandro Jackson ring up a customer’s purchase during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
From left to right, Liquid Bidding General Manager Jaylin Fordham, his brother Latrell Fordham and their father Brian Joshua pose for a portrait during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Liquid Bidding general manager Jaylin Fordham (left) and Flint United owner and president Kevin Mays (right) pose for a portrait during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Jalayah Walters (right) and Lee’Ontae Jackson pose for a portrait during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Stacy Walker (left) and Alisha Walker (right) get treats during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Tristan Beasley (center) gets a cookie during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
A child selects a cupcake during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Santa Clause poses for a portrait during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Flint United Head Coach Kevin Crosby poses for a picture with Santa Clause during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Afrobotk, a Flint-based DJ, poses for a picture with Santa Clause during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Hip-hop artist Zip (left) and singer/songwriter Laia pose for a picture with Santa Clause during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Lexia Olvera holds Bellino Olvera and they walk to get a toy during Flint United’s Hip-Hop Xmas Toy Drive at Comma Bookstore in Flint, Mich. on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)

One reply on “Flint United celebrates a ‘Hip-Hop Xmas’ with toy giveaway downtown”

  1. Wow Michael you really captured the essence of the Hip Hop X-mas Toy giveaway!! This was a wonderful community event and I was so happy to be a part of it!! The pictures and article are aMAYSing!!! 🥰🙌

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