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Rappers J Cole and Big Sean inspire 16K Youth at We Day California

J Cole and Big Sean inspired 16k youth with their Hip Hop music and powerful words at the first-ever We Day California this week at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. To take you behind-the-scenes, we have celebrity videos, plus a backstage interview with Big Sean, which you can watch in this VIDEO: Big Sean backstage at We Day California.

J Cole at We Day California in Oakland, CA.
J Cole at We Day California in Oakland, CA.
Liz H Kelly
Big Sean backstage at We Day California
Liz H Kelly

Selena Gomez, Magic Johnson, Seth Rogen, Laila Ali, Martin Sheen and Orlando Bloom also gave inspirational speeches at this special #WeDay event hosted by Free The Children. Everyone earned their ticket to attend by doing one local and one global community service project.

J Cole rocked the house by singing and dancing his hit single “Crooked Smile” with the crowds center stage, which you can watch in this VIDEO: J Cole and Big Sean Live at We Day California. Big Sean also gave encouraging words, followed by performing his upbeat “Nothing Is Stopping You” and “Beware” songs.

When we interviewed Big Sean backstage, he talked about discussing his We Day invitation with his mom (who runs his Sean Anderson Foundation with him to enhance the lives of youth). He explained, “We just agreed that it’s not only something we should do, it was an honor.”

Big Sean then expanded on his why behind attending We Day, “We’ve seen world leaders and friends from Gandhi to Macklemore, and a lot of people, one of my good friends J Cole is here too. It’s just cool for actors, singers, entertainers and activists and people who have great stories to come together for the common goal of spreading that light to the young generation, you know because, they’re all we got, and as much corruption there is in the world, it’s cool to see people energized over something positive, especially like young kids."

When asked about his songs with a “good” message, Big Sean added, “One of the songs I did after I gave my speech, I did a song called 'Nothing is Stopping You', and I think that message is not only necessary, but it was the intro to my last album. It talks about how I met Kanye. Kanye West is the one that discovered me, and he heard me out…I had to put that story into a song.”

And when Big Sean hit center stage at We Day, he empowered 16,000 youth by emphasizing, “I hope everyone that touches this stage today shows you that you can be more than average, you can be world leaders….And no matter what four walls are surrounding you, no matter what doors close in front of you, just know, nothing is stopping you.”

BIG thanks to Big Sean, J Cole, and all the inspirational speakers. And many thanks to the sponsors, including Microsoft, Allstate Foundation and Unilever project sunlight, who made it possible for Free The Children’s first We Day California to be free for all attendees. To join this movement for good, follow all the news on Twitter @WeDay #WeDay. And for more We Day videos, visit

© Liz H Kelly, National Digital Entertainment Columnist and Goody Awards Founder