Vic Mensa, Trae Tha Truth, Rod Wave

Gas giveaways are fast becoming part of the celebrity landscape in 2022 as Americans battle gas prices and the wealthy — some with a service to sell — are happy to help offset the cost of one. full.

From Houston to Chicago to Tampa and every point in between, celebrity gas giveaways are new to the financial pandemic landscape. From the St. Petersburg Rod Wave to the Houston Rod Wave Trae tha truth At Chicago’s Vic Mensa, celebrities tried to ease the pain of rising (and falling and rising) gas prices by hosting giveaways related to local gas stations Shell, BP, Sunoco and others.

The most recent big giveaway was from the Houston-based rapper Lil Jairmy, which gave fuel to the first 100 cars to line up. Jairmy also provided activities for those waiting, including a live DJ, free food and activities for children. Over Labor Day weekend, Mensa donated $10,000 worth of gas to Chicago to celebrate its new cannabis company 93BOYZ, which is also one of the few black-owned weed brands in the world. country. They were able to fill some 200 cars.

From Mensa: “To celebrate the launch of 93BOYZ, Chicago’s first black cannabis brand, we went to the gas station in the neighborhood where I grew up and gave away $10,000 worth of free gas. At a time when many people are struggling to fill their tanks, it feels good to be able to help the community in a concrete way.”

Houston’s Trae Tha Truth filled up vehicles at a Third Ward Chevron, $50 per car max, as part of his Trae Day philanthropy weekend. In April, Rod Wave paid for $25,000 worth of gas in a Sunoco
in his native St. Petersburg.

As Trae said The Houston Chronicle“I always want to give back to the community. Times are tough right now and it’s only right that we do something that really matters to them.”

But rappers aren’t the only ones digging into the marketing (or philanthropy) scheme of gas giveaways. Everyone from political action committees to churches to credit unions and credit unions are taking advantage of high gas prices to advertise their organization for the services it offers. Philanthropists like Chicago’s Willie Wilson (often a mayoral hopeful), have donated more than $1 million in free gas with no strings attached.

On the one hand, essence gifts are a gesture of goodwill and can genuinely help people who need a boost for the week. But critics of the freebies say the traffic causes air pollution (cars idling for hours) and harms vulnerable populations by slowing public transit services. These reviews say people are better served with a gas card than by queuing to fill up. In Chicago, for example, Wilson’s massive and frequent giveaways caused traffic stoppages for miles, leading residents to map the locations and dates of future giveaways to avoid neighborhoods where such giveaways occur. were producing.

As Chicago historian Sherman “Dilla” Thomas wrote for The tribe“With so many cars struggling to find a spot in line to receive free gas at participating stations, the city has had to deploy Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers to control traffic. I don’t think I’m out by saying that CPD has a strained relationship with the very residents who were queuing for free gas. This kind of unrest could lead to negative interactions with the police, and none of us want that. Without forgetting that taking squad cars off their beats to keep the peace for free gas giveaways is not a good use of taxpayer dollars.

That said, rapper-sponsored giveaways in the recent past didn’t seem to have the same intensity or environmental impact as Wilson’s giveaways. Anecdotally, based on the appearance – widely documented on Facebook and Twitter – of Mensa’s giveaway, smaller essence gifts (in the $10,000 range) lead to better community outcomes, in partly because the wait times just aren’t that long.

Gasoline gifts market 101 in times of financial hardship, and with prices still high, it’s safe to say that as winter approaches and hurricane season deepens, such gifts won’t go away. not disappear anytime soon. In fact, they could increase. And I predict the townspeople will always line up for them.

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