(Bloomberg) -- Ja Rule has joined the ranks of celebrities embracing nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, with a collection called “Black is Beautiful.” Rule, along with his business partner Herb Rice, said they would donate $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 $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 Sate. 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 onboard with this movement.”
That movement, according to The Painted House, involves helping “communities of color with access, education, and insights to empower the next generations of creative minds.” While Rule is fueled by his desire to increase Black representation in the crypto space, he is mindful that people of color are hit especially hard, when the market reaches a down turn. He urges people to be cautious but not so fearful of risk that they miss an opportunity.
“I always tell people: don’t gamble what you can’t lose,” Rule said. “I tell people to be very careful when they get into [crypto], but I also tell them that it’s in such early stages, it’s in its infant stages. So, we don’t know where this will be in 10, 15 years. Most experts would say crypto will be here.”
In addition to the initial donation of $50,000, Rule is considering investing in these universities’ art programs.
“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.”
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