Big Tigger – Big Personality with a Big Heart
Mr. Darian Morgan aka Big Tigger is widely known throughout the hip-hop and entertainment industry as one of today’s top television and radio personalities.
Formerly the host of BET’s Rap City: Tha Basement and 106 & Park, he currently has a nationally syndicated radio show, Live in the Den with Big Tigger, is the host of the Big Tigger Morning Show with Free on 95.5 WPGC in the Nation’s capital and he has his own TV show, Direct Access.
Big Tigger began his career as an intern at WPGC and successfully sky-rocketed in the media arena thanks to his ability to make the artists he interviewed feel as if they were hanging out with one of their boys. This authenticity was felt by his audience, thus effectively furthering his career and street credibility.
What some entertainment industry buffs may not know about Tigger is that he’s a serious biker and owns a ridiculously phat custom Suzuki Hayabusa, complete with a single sided 300 rear and rocking a Transformers Optimus Prime paint scheme by Killer Kreations in Philly, PA. Arguably, his bike is the first custom 2008 ‘Busa (built by Triple Plate Customs, Newark DE) to hit the streets almost immediately after the press launch of the redesigned 2008 Hayabusa. Believe me, I was there and the witnessing of the debut of his bike.
In addition to doing big things in the music world, he also has a big heart. Tigger founded his Street Corner Foundation in 2002 as a means to bring awareness to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Being the connected personality he is, he felt that he couldn’t just sit back and simply show up to a few luncheons, fundraisers and speaking engagements to raise awareness for this cause. No sir. Instead he took a hands on approach and launched the Big Tigger Annual Celebrity Classic, a charitable weekend that features athletic and celebrity participants such as Lebron James, Gabrielle Union, Michael Vick, and Ludacris to name a few. The three day event features a celebrity basketball showdown that brings celebrities and communities together for National HIV Testing Day, as well as other fund raising events. Going strong and moving into its 10th year of existence, you might think the Celebrity Classic’s outreach would be enough for Tigger. Wrong. Given his passion for two wheels, he thought why not tie in his charitable efforts with the largely generous bike community. Thus the Big Tigger HIV/AIDS Ride for Life was created.
The fist Ride for Life kicked off in 2007 with event organizers expecting a modest number of approximately 500 bikers. Their expectations were blown away when 2,000 registered bikers showed up ready to roll out to support the cause. Motorcycle clubs and independent riders from the DMV, PA, NJ and NY represented during the ride. Clubs included the Platinum Rollers, ZooRyders, #1 Stunnas, Down n’ Dirty, East Coast Busas, Ruff Ryders, Baltimore Black Tigers, Eclypse Ryders, QT’s, Speed Divas, Chocolate City Divas and Deathrow Choppers to name a few. As with the Celebrity Classic, the Ride for Life is more than “show and flash” and ties in immediately with the purpose it’s intended to support. One of the grand finale activities included an HIV/AIDS testing initiative conducted by the Washington DC Department of Health. The 2nd Annual Ride for Life included world drag race champion Rickey Gadson as the Grand Marshall; he was followed by 3,000 riders – again surpassing expectations. “This was by far one of the best organized rides I’ve experienced” Rickey said “and it’s for a great cause, so I’m honored to have been a part of it.” For the 3rd Annual Ride for Life, DC’s Ward 5 Council member Harry Thomas Jr. joined the ride. The Street Corner Foundation also partnered up with Six Flags Amusement Park in Largo, MD for a day of riding, roller coasters, food and fun and again brought out more than 3,000 participants. “We were very happy to end our official daily season with such a positive and exciting outreach event as well as the opportunity to partner with Tigger and his Street Corner Foundation” said a representative from Six Flags. “It was by far one of the most exciting events we’ve had at the park.” The 4th Annual Ride for Life, presented by Suzuki, will take place on August 13, 2011 from the Baysox Stadium in Bowie, MD to RFK Stadium in Washington DC.
As with the Platinum Rollers and General Manager John Faison of TGIFriday’s in Greenbelt, MD (where weekly registration for the Ride for Life takes place during one of the biggest bike nights in the DMV) we’ve supported this very worthwhile charity ride from the beginning and look forward to continuing the support. Given the success of Tigger’s previous awareness rides, charitable contributions and outreach efforts we can only guess what else he has in store. One thing is for certain, it will be big – Big Tigger style that is!
For more on Big Tigger, check out the August 2011 issue of the hottest sport bike mag on the market, our partners Sport Bikes Inc. Subscribe today. It’s FREE!
Written by: Leon L. Brittain
motorcycle journalist and photographer