“Financial freedom is my only hope.”
Last week, Jay Z released his 13th studio album 4:44 and the internet went nuts.
While most of the web focused on Jay-Z’s marital issues with his wife,
GOD Beyonce, and his strained friendship with Kanye Kardashian West, some of us honed in on one of the album’s most important reoccurring themes: financial accountability in the Black community.
The business, man! – aka 2017’s second richest person in Hip-Hop with a net worth of $810 million – addresses collective economics and economic injustice in America, hoping to provide the Black community with several tips to inspire aspirations towards financial freedom. This album is the kind of woke we all need, especially since studies suggest it could take a Black family in America up to 228 years to catch up to the wealth of their white counterparts.
In “The Story of OJ”, Jay Z shares some of his past financial setbacks, the lessons he’s learned since and provides insight on his current money management etiquette.
“Please don’t die over the neighborhood
That your mama rentin’
Take your drug money and buy the neighborhood
That’s how you rinse it”
“I bought every V12 engine. Wish I could take it back to the beginnin’. I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo, for like 2 million. That same building today is worth 25 million. Guess how I’m feelin’? Dumbo.”
“I bought some artwork for 1 million. 2 years later, that shit worth 2 million. Few years later, that shit worth 8 million. I can’t wait to give this shit to my children.”
And all these gems for just $9.99
On “Smile” Jay-Z offers his thoughts on the economic injustice tied up with the rise of the legal marijuana industry.
“Feared for you, bro, we know the system don’t work. Take a young ni**as freedom over some dirt, yet it’s legal in Colorado. Yeah, we deny Black entrepreneurs, free enterprise.”
According to drug policy expert Amanda Lewis, less than one percent of marijuana dispensaries nationwide are owned by African-Americans. Yet in New York, 85 percent of marijuana arrests in 2016 were Black and Latino.
In “Family Feud”, Jay touches on the lack of support within the community, and the importance of black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. These comments are made in light of the recent fixation on who will become the first Hip-Hop billionaire.
“We all lose when the family feuds. What’s better than one billionaire? Two. I’ll be damned if I drink some Belvedere, while Puff got CÎROC. Y’all need to stop.”
In the last song on the album “Legacy” – which starts off with Blue Ivy asking her father,“What is a will?” – Hov provides insight on long-term investments.
“Generational wealth, that’s the key. My parents ain’t have shit, so that ship started with me. My mom took her money, she bought me bonds. That was the sweetest thing of all time.”
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Recently, the United State Census Bureau released new statistics showing the average African American family’s net worth was $9,211 compared to the average white net worth at $132,483.
When you consider those numbers, it’s amazing to see a Hip-Hop artist use his platform as a tool of encouragement for financial literacy and economic awareness.
Original post by Kenneth Worles