Business partners Ja Rule and Herb Rice recently announced that they are donating $50,000 to select historically Black colleges and universities after selling out their NFT Collection Black Is Beautiful earlier this week.
The collection sold out, and $25,000 of the proceeds will go to the HBCUs. Ja Rule’s ICONN Media has matched those funds, providing a total of $50,000 to selected HBCUs.
Donations will be made to Jackson State University, Morgan State University, Hampton University, Spelman College and Morehouse College, with each institution receiving $10,000.
“It’s important that our Black children are proud to go to HBCUs,” Rule recently told Bloomberg. “This is just the spark — we’re starting it. I pray that others will get onboard with this movement.”
Rule and Rice’s decision to donate to HBCUs stems from their mission to support Black Americans in achieving a higher education. The schools chosen had personal connections with participating members of The Painted House. Ja Rule’s daughter is an alumna of Hampton University, while Deon Sanders coaches Jackson State University’s football team.
Sanders was one of the collaborators on the Black Is Beautiful project, along with illustrator Nick Davis, singer Ashanti, tech entrepreneur Tanya Sam, and NBA star Bam Adebayo, among others.
Keeping a Promise
With the donation, Ja Rule is fulfilling a pledge he made when they announced this collection’s “minting” last month.
He said at the time, “I’m so proud of this collection and all of the incredible work showcased in Black is Beautiful. It’s amazing to see this vision come to life and continue our mission of expanding representation by supporting worthy causes and organizations. This is only the beginning! We’re excited to kick off this initial launch by supporting our friends at Jackson State University, Morgan State University, Hampton University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College.”
NFT Collection Black Is Beautiful Shares Aspects of Black American Culture
Rule and Rice co-founded The Painted House, launching its first NFT collection Black Is Beautiful in early July.
“The Painted House is a passion of Ja and I,” Rice told Billboard of the new venture in collaboration with NFT launchpad platform House of First. “We entered the Web3 NFT space a year ago after attending the annual NFT NYC for the first time. It was warm and social, but there were no people of color. We wanted to bring more people of color into the space — so we created an investment group called the Brotherhood Dow, for people that wanted to start buying and selling NFTs, in a comfortable setting of family and friends investing and learning about Web3 and cryptocurrency … we wanted to dovetail that with getting more Black creatives into the Web3 space.”
Working in conjunction with House Of First, the Black is Beautiful project features 1,000 unique, one-of-one collectible NFTs. Illustrator Nick Davis depicted the emotions of Black Americans in their daily lives. Each NFT is collectible art showcasing storytelling’s power in Black American culture.
From Hip-Hop Artist To Entrepreneur
Ja Rule is a prominent hip-hop artist who tops the charts in the early 2000s with hits such as “Holla Holla,” “I’m Real,” and “Ain’t It Funny,” and “Always on Time.” According to Celebrity Net Worth, his current net worth is $4 million. Rule’s partnership with Rice is his second foray into NFTs. In February, he founded ClubCards NFT.