Tito Rodríguez decided to become the Santa Claus of the neighborhood and bring gifts to low-income children that he never had as a child.
“My parents were poor, Mexican immigrants, and when I was 6 years old, my father committed suicide … We were even poorer,” he told us.
In none of his Long Beach childhood years did Tito receive gifts. Not on Christmas, not on Thanksgiving, not even on his birthday.
“My mother sold shoes seven days a week at the swap meet [flea market] but the little she was able to earn was just enough to eat. We couldn’t think of gifts from or anything like that, ”recalled Tito, who years later would reach a level of fame as a music producer.
“I remember that on Christmas Eve I couldn’t sleep, but not because Santa was going to bring me presents, but excited that at dawn he would run to my friend’s house to see what the child God had brought him. They did bring him gifts. Sometimes we played together with what they had brought him, ”Tito said.
He invested his experience in poverty to compose the music that as a teenager he loved and began to stand out in Long Beach and Los Angeles, where his songs began to be known on the radio in the late 1990s.
He recalled that he came to compose music that Snoop Dogg and the band ‘Tha Eastsidaz’ performed, it was a time of recognition.
Motivation after a bad experience
It was during that adolescence in the absence of his father and his always busy mother, that Tito was arrested and sent to juvenile prison for attempting to rob a convenience store.
“I started to think about all those children who, like me, in their childhood do not have any gifts because their families fight so much so that they barely have enough to pay,” he said.
“Well, who won’t want gifts; everyone wants to get gifts, but it would be very difficult to give them all, “he reflected. So he decided to buy toys and walk the streets of Long Beach in search of little ones to give them as gifts.