OPINION: Should Rappers Pattern Themselves After Bernie Madoff?

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One of the most discouraging things about so many rappers claiming to have been former crack and cocaine dealers is that it shows that Black people far too often have no idea of true wealth. These guys act like moving from crack to rap was a lateral move because we’ve been trained to think that there is just oh-so-much money in crack that by switching to rap, the only thing that they were, in essence, doing was giving themselves a legitimate form of income to put on their tax forms.

Meanwhile, a real hustler, a true hustler, a great hustler sits in jail right now after doing what each man does or should claim to be his main and sole responsibility: taking care of his family. Not since the movie “The Godfather” has a criminal so sacrificed himself and his reputation for the sake of his family.

Don Vito knew that the true genius of his plot to take over the five families would only be understood once he was dead and gone and that he probably wouldn’t even get the credit for being the brains behind the move. This took true humility. So many of us wouldn’t even score touchdowns if we couldn’t do the dance afterwards.

WATCH Chris Rock Talk About Wealth:

Likewise, Bernie Madoff, kingpin of the biggest Ponzi scheme in US history, a ripoff that took in 65 billion (SIXTY-FIVE BILLION!), knew that when it all came down (and he knew that it all would) he’d take the hit so he positioned his family in a way that they could look innocent and still manage to “cake off” (keep the ill gotten spoils). He then instructed them to pretend they all hated him and wanted nothing to do with him—which they’re doing admirably.

That’s hustling.

Never mind that if it had been drugs that Madoff and his family had been accused of being involved in, all of their possessions would have been seized by now. What I think we should all learn from this is that hip hop needs a better class of criminals.

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