‘Gentrify Your Own Hood’: Why Jay-Z’s Tribute To Nipsey Hussle Unleashed A Debate On Twitter

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Gentrify Your Own Hood
FILE – In this Jan. 27, 2018, file photo, honoree Jay-Z speaks onstage at the 2018 Pre-Grammy Gala And Salute To Industry Icons at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York. Jay-Z must explain why he’s dodging a subpoena rather than answering questions related to a financial investigation of a consumer brand company that bought his Rocawear clothing line, a judge says. In an order made public Thursday, May 3, U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe instructed the performer and entrepreneur, whose birth name is Shawn Carter, to appear in a New York courtroom next Tuesday to explain himself. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP, File)

Once again Jay-Z has used the power of his microphone to spark a cultural conversation. This time the insanely famous rap mogul has fans debating about gentrification. After doing a freestyle tribute to slain rapper and icon Nipsey Hussle, Jay left some fans scratching their heads and debating whether he got it right this time.

During a performance on Saturday, Jay teamed up with Nas to pay tribute to Hussle during the B-Sides 2 concert in New York City’s Webster Hall, News 18 reported. In video clips shown on Complex, Jay rapped:

“Gentrify your own hood before these people do it. 
Claim eminent domain and have your people move in. 
That’s a small glimpse into what Nipsey was doing.
For anybody still confused as to what he was doing.”

Social media lit up with commentary.

Some slammed Jay for suggesting gentrification since it means renovating an area and pushing out lower-income, indigenous residents to attract middle and upper-class residents.

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Others defended Jay, saying it was a play on words and the rapper was merely suggesting Black and brown people buy back their blocks so they can keep their communities intact. Supporters said he was encouraging people to follow Hussle’s plan for economic revitalization for Blacks.

Still others questioned whether or not Jay even understood what gentrification and eminent domain meant. Then there were those who suggested since Jay-Z is one of America’s wealthiest celebrities, he is out of touch.

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