Rapper and entrepreneur LaRussell celebrated his 29th birthday by bringing back his pop-up café in an effort to help feed his hometown.

On Oct. 6, the Bay Area native announced via Instagram that one way he decided to celebrate his special day was by giving back to the city that raised him, along with releasing his new album Family Business. He partnered with Momo’s Cafe to bring back his “Proud 2 Pay Cafe” concept for two weeks, reported NBC Bay Area. When he debuted the concept last year, he partnered with Momo’s for a one-day brunch, which let patrons choose how much they will pay for their meals, whether it’s the exact amount, more or less.

“It’s our way of giving back to the hood,” the Good Company Records founder said in an interview with the news station. “We don’t know how many meals, but well over six figures to the community. The goal is for people to pay what they can or if you want to overpay to really support, that’s a great thing, but you pay what you can.”

He continued, “But we know there’s people who can’t pay as well, you know? We have a very high homeless population in Vallejo and everyone’s not able to pay, but we still want to make sure you eat. So, if you can’t pay, it’s okay that you didn’t pay because we know the other people that come in are going to take care of you.”

LaRussell frequented Momo’s Cafe before his music career took off. This led to a longstanding friendship with owner Manuel Melendrez, who grew up in the same area. Melendrez said he knew LaRussell was on the brink of greatness.

“I’m just a big hip hop fan, so when I found out he was doing music, I was like, ‘Woah! I gotta look you up.’ And then I was like, ‘Oh yeah, he’s special,'” he said.

The independent musician was happy to team up with Melendrez once again because he’s always supported his community initiatives.

“We share kind of like the same love for our city, and I think this is how you build community, you know, showing love,” Melendrez said.


LaRussell is happy to be a positive representation and proof that people from underserved areas can make it out and reach their dreams.

“There was always this notion that you couldn’t make it from these kind of communities,” he said. “It feels great, it feels great to go to the schools and the kids know me or to be walking around and everybody’s like, ‘Hey!’ It’s dope. It’s like the ice cream truck. Everybody’s excited when they see the ice cream truck.”

Locals can stop by Momo’s Cafe Monday through Friday until Oct. 23.