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A failed business, man

Remember back when rich black people used to lose all of their money by spending it on shit that was very shiny and expensive-looking? Then the next thing you know you’d hear about how they somehow ended up owing more money to the IRS than they made in the first place, and the government would come and seize all of that shit and sell it off for pennies on the dollar. Some middle class white family would end up living in their ridonkulous house with huge fish tanks and solid gold bath tubs.

I actually kinda miss those days. These days, when you hear about rich black people losing a shedload of money, it’s because they invested it in some ol’ bullshit. They started to believe in their own business acumen, when it’s obvious (because they’re black) all their money came from entertaining white people. Which, to me, might be even worse than blowing your money the old fashioned way. It’s one thing to have $30 million and spend it all on cars, a crib, and cutting checks to your so-called friends from the ghetto. There’s no excuse for fucking up a billion dollars, or half a billion dollars or whatever.

There’s a big story in the New York Post today about how this is happening to Jay-Z. It doesn’t sound like he’s at any risk of having to move back to the Marcy Projects, on some Rocky V shit, at least not yet, but it sounds like he’s losing a shedload of money on investments that he could have just as easily not bothered with. He’s buying up ownership stakes in companies he has no idea how to run, and invariably they end up losing money, when he could have just as easily left that money in the bank, or invested it in the stock market or some shit. It says right there in the Post that, if Jay-Z had invested the money he spent to buy into the Nets in the S&P 500, he’d be up 7.6%, whereas the Nets are down %10. And you know how fucked the fuck up the stock market has been.

Some of these other deals Jay is losing money on sound like some shit right out of that season of the Wire when Stringer Bell tried to go legit, building condos and shit on the waterfront. Remember that scene where Clay Davis had to explain to him why he didn’t have shit to show for all of that money he spent bribing bureaucrats and what have you? Similarly, it sounds like a group of more sophisticated criminals/business people may have sold Jay-Z a bill of goods. He spent all of this money on real estate, for a chain of hotels he was gonna launch, but then the bank wouldn’t let him walk away from them when they went underwater – even though I’m pretty sure white companies do that shit all the time. There was a segment on it on 60 Minutes a couple of weeks ago. Similarly, that corrupt AEG deal he ended up having to pull out of didn’t sound any worse to me than the shenanigans that go into the awarding of any huge government contract. He must not have bribed the right people.

Not to spoil the Wire for any of you who haven’t seen it, but let’s just say Stringer Bell never got the chance to drop out of community college and go back to counting these rocks. It’s not too late for Jay-Z to go back to just being a rapper/fake CEO, and he probably should. Towards the end of the article in the Post, there’s a handy breakdown of Jay’s various business ventures, based on their relative success or failure, and if you notice, the only ones that can be considered an unqualified success are the ones that are at least tangentially related to rap music. Like Rocawear. The only non-rap-related venture I’d suggest Jay-Z even bother with at this point is the Nets, which could pay off big time, if he could convince Lebron James to sign with them. That investment could go from huge, embarrassing failure to cha-ching in one fell swoop. The question is: how do you convince Lebron James to go play in motherfucking Brooklyn, rather than signing with the Knicks, or staying in Cleveland? Jay-Z might wanna try talking some brother talk to him. If the Nets can come up with as much money as anyone else, why would he sign with a team that doesn’t have .27% black ownership? That’s why black people can’t have shit.

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