Nipsey Hussle Wanted to Create Economic Side of Black Lives Matter, Says Business Partner
During his B-Sides concert at in New York City's Webster Hall a couple of weeks ago, Jay-Z commended Nipsey Hussle for his plans to economically revive his own community. Now, it's being reported that Nipsey planned to revive not only his neighborhood but 11 other neighborhoods across the U.S. and Puerto Rico as well.
In a new interview the Los Angeles Times published on Wednesday (May 8), the late rapper's business partner, David Gross, offered some insight into their plans that were bigger than Crenshaw.
“He wanted to be a symbol and really spark a movement,” Gross told the L.A. Times. “Basically, it was the economic version of Black Lives Matter. [That] is what we were trying to create.”
According to Gross, Nipsey planned to meet with important figures in Black neighborhoods around the country and get them on board with rolling out an investment fund Gross and Nipsey had created called Our Opportunity. In Gross' words, they wanted to, "in a systematic way, acquire and develop transformative projects” with these important figures—one of which was a Republican senator in South Carolina by the name of Tim Scott.
“I was excited when I learned of his interest in Opportunity Zones,” Sen. Scott said in a statement. “And I’m saddened that we will never get to discuss our plans and vision for what this initiative could do to partner with and strengthen Nipsey’s already amazing efforts.”
The pair's investment group planned to use a tax incentive that was put in place in 2017 when Trump did an overhaul of the federal tax code. It offers tax breaks—sometimes substantially large ones—to investors who are willing to put a lot of capital into rebuilding poor communities as well as up-and-coming communities known as the "opportunity zones" which Sen. Scott mentioned.
Once Nipsey's Hyde Park neighborhood was designated as an opportunity zone, the last months of his life were spent meeting with investors to discuss Our Opportunity. Along with Gross, the rapper had plans to expand on the strip mall where his Marathon Clothing store and other businesses he owned are located. Gross says they were going to add 80 units of apartments and condos on top and add shops with healthy food options, then set aside 20 percent of the housing units for local residents and invest with them so they could own their homes.
But just because Nipsey's not physically here with us any longer, the Marathon continues. Gross and the other investors involved in Our Opportunity plan to roll out the fund later this month.
Read the full piece on Nipsey's plans over at the L.A. Times.
See Photos of Nipsey Hussle's Different Looks Over the Years