/  08.04.2022

Longtime friends and business partners Ja Rule and Herb Rice co-founded an NFT platform called Black is Beautiful. The platform’s mission is to display “a stunning depiction of the raw emotions of Black Americans navigating both the joys and struggles of everyday life in America,” as per the official website. 

The pair launched their inaugural NFT collection that will benefit historically Black colleges. Rice tells Billboard, “The Painted House is a passion of Ja and I. 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.”

The Black is Beautiful collection contains 1,000 unique NFTs combining faith, style, resilience, and pop culture. The “Living It Up” rapper claims “80 percent of the collection” was already sold and 10 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the following HBCUs: Jackson State University, Morgan State University, Hampton University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College.

Regarding his new business venture, Ja Rule told the outlet, “We want this brand new venture to educate people of color on NFTs, cryptocurrency, blockchain and the whole space. The Painted House is like our baby, and our way of introducing artists of color into the NFT realm. It’s not easy to create generative art like NFTs because you have to explain why one might be more rare than the other by having a specific trait — like lasers, which is unique to NFTs — whereas creating [traditional] art is often a feeling or passion you have.”

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