Ja Rule joins celebrity NFT ranks with HBCU donation

Published Thu, Aug 11, 2022 · 07:24 AM

JA RULE has joined the ranks of celebrities embracing non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, with a collection called "Black is Beautiful". Rule, along with his business partner Herb Rice, said they would donate US$25,000 from initial sales of the collection to historically Black universities including Jackson State University, Morgan State University, Hampton University, Spelman College and Morehouse College.

The rapper's entertainment company, ICONN Media, will match an additional US$25,000.

Each of the selected schools has a personal tie to Rule and his collaborators, who operate under an entity known as The Painted House. Rule's daughter is a Hampton alumna, and Rice's wife graduated from Morgan State. Other members include Deion Sanders, the head football coach at Jackson State and TV personality Tanya Sam, who attended Spelman. Sam's husband graduated from Morehouse.

"Those were the schools that were on our radar for [those] reasons," Rule told Bloomberg in an interview. "This is just the spark—we're starting it. I pray that others will get on board with this movement."

An NFT from Nick Davis’ “Black is Beautiful” collection. PHOTO: NICK DAVIS

That movement, according to The Painted House, involves helping "communities of colour with access, education, and insights to empower the next generations of creative minds".

In addition to the initial donation of US$50,000, Rule is considering investing in these universities' art programmes.

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"It's important that our Black children are proud to go to HBCUs," said Rule.

The collection, which features 1,000 different illustrations by Florida artist Nick Davis, is intended to depict the complexities of being Black in America.

"It's basically telling the story of Black America," Rule said. "From our joy to our pain." BLOOMBERG

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