…after all, it would be fitting for someone who once said, quite cleverly I might add, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business man.”
I believe it’s time for hip hop to engage the financial and economic meltdown of our time, because it has done so brilliantly in the past (see Grandmaster Flash – “The Message,” all of Public Enemey’s It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, both of which cannot be fully understood without understanding the socio-political consequences of the Reagan years). So why not now, when the nation is facing its greatest economic crisis since the Big One?
You can easily construct a narrative around this: say an enterprising street hustler deals on the corner, amasses a small fortune, a crew, women, and cars. Now what? Instead of dying an early, if glorious, death, said street enterpreneuer could invest the money in one of many Public-Private Investment Funds (PPIFs) created by Treasury’s plan. And why would this street hustler invest? It’s a perfect opportunity: the FDIC is willing to go as high as 6-to-1 debt-to-equity ratio, while Treasury is willing to put up half of the equity. So at the most, an investor would only have to be 25% of the value of the asset, or at the least, an investor would only have to put up 7% of the value. If the asset makes money, the investor will win big, and even if it loses, the government is subsidizing the majority of the losses. Best of all, it is completely legal.
So for a rapper and a businessman of Jay-Z’s skill and acumen would be retarded NOT to invest in PPIFs. And maybe we can even get a semi-decent to great rap song out of this as well.