Killer Mike has always been outspoken, whether in his hardcore raps or his social activism. Greenwood, his latest endeavor, proves true to form for the Atlanta-born artist. The “Akshon” rapper is dedicated to giving back to his community in the best way he knows how. The new digital banking platform is aimed at offering Black families a genuine pathway to financial security.
He recently joined Gia Peppers on another installment of REVOLT’s “Stand Up For” series, presented by State Farm, and talked about why having financial freedom is essential for Black and Latinx families to close the wealth gap.
“Greenwood is radically different,” Killer Mike said. “Just like food deserts in our community, we have banking deserts. The possibility to bank through here reduces the possibility of you having to go to the liquor store to cash your check.”
Presently, white families have nearly 10 times the wealth of Black families. The gap is only widening further for Black and Latinx communities with the recent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, how do we close it? Resources, according to the GRAMMY award-winning artist. “We’re owed,” the rapper said. “From the private and public sector, there are multi-dimensional answers that could be brought to our community that would help grow wealth and educate us about wealth.”
Inspired by Greenwood District, the historic freedom colony in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that became one of the most affluent areas for Black businesses in the country during the early 20th century, popularly known as “Black Wall Street,” laid the groundwork for the rapper to bring the platform to life.
The entrepreneur and MC noted that Greenwood offers a tangible way for Black and Latinx families to continue to be the cornerstone of their own communities.
“Phase one of the plan is just making sure you can bank, with a real bank account, right there in your hands,” Mike said. “Phase two of the plan is to grow into lending for particularly car loans and home loans. Your home will be your real first acquisition of wealth.”
From that, Greenwood banking plans to lend money to underrepresented businesses from creative communities of color that may be overlooked. The R.A.P. Music artist said the message behind Greenwood banking is fairness and financial security for all. “We have to show a word that my aunt taught me when I was five: solidarity,” he said.
Mike and Peppers also discussed what entrepreneurs could do to get more financially free. “Take the time to research and do what you can, when you can, at a cost-effective measure. The other thing is you don’t always have to spend your money. There’s money out there for you to get,” Mike added.
The rapper noted gaining financial literacy can be scary but necessary. Being an active participant is crucial for Black and Latinx families to close the wealth gap.
He affirmed: “What I want my customers to feel is economic control of their own lives where they don’t feel in peril because they have to depend on what the check cashing place would give them. What I hope for the children to get is the confidence to know I can do it, I must do it, I will do it.”
Tune into “REVOLT BLACK NEWS’” “Stand Up For” series above for the full conversation with Killer Mike.