The spirit of giving is always accentuated during the holiday season, so it was no wonder that a successful rapper decided to give back to those who are less fortunate than he is. However, it was the manner in which Blueface gave back that had social media in a frenzy with Christmas just hours away.
On Monday, Blueface drove in his luxury Mercedes G-Class SUV to visit Skid Row in his native Los Angeles, where, the L.A. Times has reported that “[m]ore than 36,000 people are homeless.” Los Angeles County’s homelessness problem has been well documented recently, something that probably prompted Blueface to climb on top of the truck, pull out stacks of cash and began “making it rain,” or throwing the money into the air. Video footage showed the money showering down on dozens and dozens of homeless people, most of whom were Black and brown. They scurried around to snatch and scrape up as much cash as they could, with some even falling over each other.
There was a ton of speculation about just how much cash Blueface threw out. Were they all one-dollar bills? Fives? DJ Akademiks tweeted that it was $50,000, but does the number actually matter. Would it have been better or worse with more or less money? What is the right answer?
What was likely a well-intentioned move by the upstart rapper to give to the needy quickly backfired on social media as the video went viral. A considerable amount of replies to the video claimed Blueface was humiliating the homeless by appearing to reduce them to desperately scampering around for money. People argued that if Blueface really wanted to express his benevolence, he could have distributed the money in a more respectable and orderly fashion. Think Drake’s video for “God’s Plan” or how turkeys are traditionally given to folks in need during the holidays.
But the flip side of that argument was represented, too, with others claiming that the bottom line of putting extra cash in the pockets of people who don’t have much or any was achieved.
To call California’s homelessness problem a crisis is an understatement. Along with the devastating numbers of people living on the streets, there are serious health concerns, as the mortality rate for homeless people in the state has risen by one-third, according to the L.A. Daily News. The stereotype is that homeless people will use any money they have on booze or drugs. But that myopic view is built on an unproven assumption.
Maybe some of the folks who grabbed some of the cash Blueface was throwing used it to feed themselves and their families and friends for a holiday meal they may not have otherwise been able to have this season. We’ll never know what all the money was used for.
But what we will know is that Blueface did give back to his community, for better or for worse, which is something not many people, let alone rappers, can say.
Statistics show that wealth gap in America has never been more disproportionate. Chances are that even many people in the so-called middle class would have been right there alongside the homeless trying to pick up as much of that cash as possible.
Still, the debate was raging on social media over whether Blueface making it rain on L.A.’s Skid Row was humiliating or helpful. Scroll down to see how people really felt.