I know it’s bold to pronounce that Nipsey Hussle may be the contemporary equivalent of Moses, but take a moment to hear me out on this one. If your’e a student of history, or if you’re familiar with the Bible, you’ve probably learned at some point that Moses’ claim to fame was that he was charged with leading the Israelites through the wilderness to get to the Promiseland. By now, I’m sure that many of you have seen this statistic floating across the internet. 42.1 % of African American’s owned their own home in 1968. A whopping 50 years later and that statistic has only increased by .1 %. Even with greater access to high paying jobs and educational opportunities, African American’s are still lacking when it comes to playing the game of ownership.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look around and see that he who owns the land, owns his own destiny. Gentrification is occurring across America in cities large and small and African American’s are being displaced at alarming rates. I recently moved from Atlanta, once known as a mecca for African American’s who aspired to live the ‘good life’ at a reasonable cost of living. As an African American, one of the most attractive aspects of Atlanta was the fact that no matter where you ventured throughout the city you once saw black people doing good and living well. If you look around at modern day Atlanta proper, melanin has certainly become more sparse through the various restaurants, shopping center and entertainment venues throughout the city.
We know the story. We’ve seen it unfold 1,000 times. Atlanta. Harlem. Brooklyn. Detroit. New Orleans. Heck, even Charlottesville, Virginia where I grew up and attended school. People of color are being forced to move further and further away from the urban centers though the metropolitan areas house most of the jobs. Or, if they choose to sustain their dwellings in large urban metropolitan areas, people of color are often subject to sub-standard living conditions leading to the resentment that often leads to an increase in robberies, theft, and violent crimes.
All in all, as African American’s our ability to live the standard middle class lifestyle, provide for our families, and build a legacy that allows us to leave something for our children is diminishing. Or, another interpretation based upon this popular social media statistic is that while some of us may have the ability to leverage capital to acquire more “things”, our aggegrate ownership has not increased a single percent since 1968.
Now, back to Nipsey Hussle and why he’s the Moses of our generation. Bottom line, Nipsey has the keys and he’s constantly using them to unlock the knowledge that leads to wealth generation and ownership. Peep game.
Nipsey Hussle Owns His Entire Music Catalogue
Ownership is not a new idea. The aspiration to own one’s entire music catalogue is certainly not just 2018 #goals. But it is probably one of the most important lessons that any artist, entrepreneur, business owner or publisher can learn. Michael did it. Anita Baker did it. Jay did it. The Migo’s are on it. Prince was willing to walk around with a silly looking tattoo on his face to make sure we didn’t have to own that lesson the hard way. Own your own content and you will reap the rewards in perpetuity. In it’s simplest terms this means that you get to live off of whatever you create, but more importantly your children get to eat off of your creativity. And their children’s children get to live of of your creativity as long as your bloodline runs. Owning your content doesn’t just have applications in music. Whether you write a book, cut a record, make a beat, or build a website, as long as it’s making money, that money goes to you, and you ultimately decide how our content evolves over time.
Before I say this, know that I would never ever diss Lauryn Hill. But don’t get Lauryn HIll’ed. She’d probably tell you the same. I was so excited to see Lauryn Hill perform for the first time in 2017. I sat for 2 hours and watched her perform lightning speed renditions of her glorious music. Why? Because she didn’t own her content. That lesson alone was enough to make her turn her back on the music business for over 20 years.
Nipsey Hussle Constantly Educates Himself on New Investment Opportunities
And we should be doing the same. One thing that’s so dope about black people, but also not so dope about black people is that we can sometimes exhibit a follower or bandwagon mentality which leads to everyone jumping on the latest trend whether it’s fashion, catch phrases, clubs, or whatever. Rather than be behind the curve, Nipsey Hussle is consistently in front of the curve. He initially invested in Bitcoin in. With his relatively new Marathon Clothing Store, he’s on the forefront of technology that combines the digital world with the physical world. He’s in early on marijuana legalization. Ya’ll do realize that one day marijuana will be legal in all 50 states, right? Look for investment opportunities now. Don’t be the johnny come lately to the party that invested in Bitcoin 2 weeks before it crashed. Stay up on new opportunities, but don’t neglect the tried and true. Digital Currency is all the hype, but don’t forget that stocks, bonds, options, currency trading and real estate all present stable opportunities to increase your cash flow and your net worth as well.
In the past, people of color were denied opportunities to become educated on wealth generation and investment strategies and tactics. Ladies and gentlemen, the Internet. We have no excuse. Start to become familiar with the terms and conditions that lead to generational wealth, and when the time is right, go for it. And if all else fails, just watch Nipsey Hussle interviews on Be Great and then follow his moves.
Nipsey Hussle is HellaVersatile
To that end, another great facet of Nipsey Hussle’s character as an entrepreneurial leader in our community, is that like many other minority entrepreneurs these days, his portfolio of projects and ventures is extremely diversified. The old adage that one should strive for 7 streams of income is even more relevant today. Because the world is evolving and changing at a more accelerated pace than in any other time in history, it’s SUPER important to have more than one thing moving. As quickly as one hustle pops off, an algorithm changes, or a new piece of technology comes out that makes what you were previously doing obsolete.
At one point, I thought I was going to get hood rich from helping entrepreneurs with their SEO. During the initial foundations of SEO, you could definitely generate a nice income helping people figure out and implement strategies to get to the top of the google searches. To collect $500 a month on an ongoing basis for SEO work was not at all uncommon. In fact, most blogs indicates that if you charged any less than that most people wouldn’t even take you seriously. So, I invested a lot of time, energy, and money into learning all about SEO so that I can incorporate that into my business. The moment I felt that I understood it and was starting to see positive results for my customers, Google switched it up. Google now requires so much more to rank at the top of searches that it renders SEO ineffective without being part of a more comprehensive and holistic digital strategy.
All in all, that’s to say that if I had an SEO hustle, a web design hustle, an Uber hustle, or whatever other “insert hustle here” in place of SEO, my Web and Digital Design business would not have gone stale after just one year.
Diversify. Diversify. Diversify.
Neighborhood Nipsey Always Brings it Back to the Community
Nipsey Hussle didn’t get rich and leave his hood for a figurative white girl. I’ve seen the Marthan Store with own eyes. It’s legit in the middle of the hood. And that’s super dope! Why can’t we have nice things in the hood? I paid $60 for a sweatshirt on Crenshaw and Slauson. Who would have thought?
But the truth in the matter is, that we as a people or a community will only get as far as the least of us. Unless we are growing, and evolving, and bringing others along so that they don’t remain stuck out of the conditions, but more importantly the mentality that we as inner city entrepreneurs, community leaders, and people of color may have evaded ourselves, than what are we really doing?
Nipsey’s Vector90 project is a community co-working space and entrepreneurial hub specifically for inner city entrepreneurs. To be a member, you must come from that community. More than capital, more than mentorship, more than ideas, our community suffers from a lack of access and opportunity. Partnerships like Vector90 make it possible to provide and cultivate the type of opportunities that lead to generational change and generational wealth.
How many of us have transformative ideas, but lack the opportunity to execute on them? What do you do when you definitely have the will, but seems like you will never find the way?
I’m about to be controversial here. I love Jay and Bey and all that they are and all that athey represent to our community. They are great. But they