Missy Elliott Says “Work It”…with a Condom:
MTV Concert Promotes Safer Sex
Julio Alvarez, Christian Placencia, Cristal Juárez, Karina Huerta, Angel Mejía
Missy Elliott gave a performance like no other while
promoting the importance of safer sex. She was part of
the YouthAIDS “Staying Alive Concert” in Seattle,
Washington on November 7th. Missy is happy to help
stop HIV/AIDS, and it shows. She got the crowd hyped
up and dancing while she stated the main purpose of
the event– raising money and awareness for YouthAIDS.
It was a one-of-a-kind experience, and we were all
there. Picture this: The outside of the concert
building was like a melting mountain of copper. It was
surrounded by tall buildings, an amusement park, and
Seattle’s famous Space Needle. As we walked into the
concert hall, the anticipation was killing us.
We were there to represent ShoutOut, one of PSI’s many
YouthAIDS projects around the world. Our role was to
help set up for the event, sell t-shirts and put up
our YouthAIDS graffiti mural. We also brought our Mr.
Loverman costume with us–a giant condom that
says “Protecting The World’s Youth” on the back. Julio
put on the costume and passed out condoms while the
doors opened and the invasion of people rushed inside
pushing each other to reach a spot at the stage’s
The fist two performances were by Michelle Branch and
Dave Matthews. Michelle warmed up the crowd while our
Mr. Loverman jumped around on the dance floor. Dave
Matthews mellowed things out with an acoustic
performance. The sidewall of the concert was covered
with a large video screen. In between sets, video
messages from famous artists played, stating the
importance of safer sex and HIV/AIDS awareness.
Then it happened: Missy Elliott hit the stage and the
crowd went wild–the music, the lights and Missy
surrounded by back up dancers and incredible
breakdancers. She even came down from the stage and
made her way through the crowd greeting many lucky
fans. Everyone was screaming and reaching out to touch
her. Missy threw out her own personal-logo t-shirts
into a sea of hands. The back of the shirt read: “If
you get ‘Ur Freak On’, make sure you ‘Work It’ with a
Missy certainly made sure that everyone knew what is
really going with AIDS. At one point a fan yelled out
that he doesn’t use condoms. Missy responded, “Well,
you better or you might not make it to the next
concert!” She’s right–teens are the highest number of
new HIV cases.
We all had VIP passes so we got to go to the VIP
lounge and to the after-party. There were lots of
appetizers and finger food and we got to eat all we
wanted. The after party was full of life. Everyone’s
true colors came out as the lights went down and the
DJ played. We got down and boogied. We even had Mr.
Loverman make an appearance and he got a lot of action
freaking with all the girls. The dancing was fun and
went on until the wee hours of the morning. The sweat
ran down our faces and our feet started to hurt from
so much dancing.
The after-party and the concert were great
experiences, but the whole road trip was great. We
spent four days driving in our “Safer Sex Machine”–
newly decorated thanks to a donation from Levi’s. The
entire drive to and from Seattle was full of natural
masterpieces. The incredible scenery included
chameleon-like trees that were changing color, and
charming architecture. We got to really know each
other. We talked, ate, slept, sang and laughed
together. All of us got to be our real selves, which
is a hard thing to do sometimes.
While we all went to the concert in Seattle, there was
also a “Staying Alive Concert” in Cape Town, South
Africa. The concert line-up featured performances by
Alicia Keys and P. Diddy. Both concerts were aired
globally on a 90 minute MTV special on, December 1st
(World AIDS Day).
The fact that our actions will help to fight AIDS
makes us happy. There is no cure for AIDS–the best way
to save lives is to keep people from getting infected.
So, for all you teens who are gonna have sex, you
should listen to Missy and make sure you “Work It”
with a condom.