Happy Monday Divas and Divos!! I’m sure everyone has the new Jay’z album 4:44 on repeat. I know I have! Especially since it was released on Apple Music last week. *Disclaimer* I have been a Jay fan since I was in the 6th Grade (let’s not talk about how long that is! LOL!). This new album has a very different feel to it. It touches on topics like marriage, infidelity, and personal finance. This is the first time that musically he has touched on these topics so in depth. Wealth is an often silent topic in the urban community. This DIVA is sooo happy that he touches on this point in multiple songs. YES, I KNOW THAT RAKIM, KRS-ONE, DAVID BANNER, J. COLE, KENDRICK LAMAR, etc. raps about this topics as well. I am a big fan of them as well. But this post is about Jay-Z and let’s focus on that! Okay?!?!?!
Let’s dive into the album shall we?!?!
The Story of OJ
The song points out that building your credit is more important than throwing it at a half-naked women at strip club. Credit is major factor in most big financial decisions (purchasing a home or car, getting a job, etc.) Maintaining good credit is important because it is a peek into your character whether you like it or not. Paying your bills on time shows you are disciplined enough to handle financial responsibilities. One too many late payments can affect your credit score. Missed payments can also alter your credit score. Building and Maintaining good credit is important to your financial wellness. But if you have been reading my blog then you already knew that…. Right?!?!
Wondering how that new Whole Foods just popped up in your neighborhood huh? The song also touches on real estate. Remember the neighborhood you grew up in? How does it look now? Does your mom live in the same house that you grew up in? Urban neighborhoods are changing. Real estate investors are buying up certain neighborhoods at a crazy low rate (Think Chicago, Detroit, New York). You may have heard your parents or grandparents talk about the new neighbors that they have that don’t look like them. Some call it gentrification or urban renewal. Whatever you call it; there is an opportunity for us to change our “hoods” in order to preserve it and keep the people there who have been living there from the beginning. It’s a shame when someone else buys up your neighborhood who would have never lived 10 years prior to its newfound popularity.
He also references how if he had bought property in a certain part of Brooklyn a couple years ago; he would have doubled his money by now. Talk about missed opportunity! This should motivation for you to look into ways to invest in real estate. There is an awesome guy name Calvin Russell that is offering a Masterclass on this topic. If you want to learn more….. Click here for more info
You know the guy who has a nice fancy car, wears all the hottest fashions, and travels to amazing places?! Then all of suddens, he dies?!?!?!?! Now his sister has started a fundraising account for him because he didn’t have any life insurance. How is the family supposed to bury him? The average funeral cost between $10-20,000. It seems like GoFundMe is replacing life insurance. How Sway?! We cannot continue to let our loved ones pass without them being properly insured. What legacy do you have to pass on to your children? Life insurance is a necessity in order to ease the burden of burying later in life. Some people use it as a way to give their children a nice cushion once they pass on. Do you feel weird talking about death?! I do but we must face inevitable.
We all should refuse to Live Rich and Die Broke.
You know you have seen this meme all over the internet. It touches on the concept of flashy living. Let’s be real…. We all like to stunt sometimes. You know you have done it.
- Showing your nails while simultaneously showing the foreign car logo on the steering wheel.
- Taking a picture with your hand over your mouth in attempt to show off your new watch.
- Kicking up your shoes to show off the red bottom.
I have been guilty of it as well. Why do we feel need to show off what we have bought? Why do we feel the need to let people know that we have large amounts of money?
People equate wealth with material things. Are we building wealth or just making a lot of it to throw away on a purse? Jay’s solution is stop the flashness. In order to build wealth; we must first disconnect with the notion that we must show the money in order to let people know that we have it. In order to know how wealthy people behave; I began to study one….. Warren Buffet. He is one of the most successful investors in the world with a net worth of $73.3 Billion.
In my research; I was shocked to find out the following:
- Warren Buffett has lived in the same house since 1958.
- Warren Buffett has had the same salary for several years.
- He drives a 2014 Cadillac DTS.
A very wealthy man has lived in the same house for over 50 years?!?! This man has not had an increase in salary?!?! He drives a regular car?!?! I know. I know. His profit from his investments sustains him. One of the richest men in the world has the most frugal habits. I think we can learn a thing or too from this guy.
*Cues Fight the Power by Public Enemy* The legalization of marijuana has been a hot button topic for the past couple of years. Colorado, Nevada, and Maine are some of the states that have legalized the sale of marijuana as today. What is the likelihood of an African-American getting arrested for a weed possession? According to the ACLU report on marijuana convictions; African-Americans are 7.5-8.5x more likely to get arrested and convicted of marijuana possession than the Caucasian counterparts. Another thing to look at is the states that have legalize the recreational and medicinal sale of marijuana: Colorado, Nevada, and Maine.
What is the Average African-American population of these states?
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?!?! It will be a long time before some states with a large urban populations see the legalization of marijuana.
This also is an AMAZING opportunity for African-Americans to enter the cannabis business. Although there are many barriers to entry that differ from state to state, it is something for a serious minority entrepreneur to look into.
Note: There are only 17 Black-Owned Cannabis shops in the US.
The tone of this song is SUPPORT YOUR OWN! You know the phrase “Buy Black”. We must support minority businesses. When is the last time you purchase something from a black business? How about “Bank Black”? There are 18 Black-Owned Banks left in America. Check out the list from my past post Here. In order for our community to thrive; we must support the local black businesses in the area. Don’t know where they are? I got you Diva! Check out BlackWallStChallenge on Instagram and Facebook. This awesome young man travels the country supporting Black Owned Businesses.
Are there no black owned businesses in your area? No worries!
You can buy black owned products online at We Buy Black to buy minority owned products and have them shipped right to your door. Did you know there is a black-owned company, Coral Oral, that makes toothbrushes?! Heck, I didn’t know either! You can buy that and other great items on the site.
The dollar only circulates in the African-American community for 6 hours before we go and spend elsewhere. We must support our own community FIRST before we go spend our coins in other communities.
There are more financial lessons that the album points out but I will let you discover the for yourself. This is one of the most woke body of works that Jay has had to date. He has a lot of non-commercial songs that touch pertinent issues but never an entire body of work. Don’t get me wrong; I still listen to and support J.Cole, Gemstones, Rakim, Mos Def, Common, etc. I just had to blog about one of the dopest albums to drop this year that has a common theme that this blog is all about