Jeffrey “Ja Rule” Atkins and Herb Rice are sharing their NFT success with thriving historically Black colleges and universities around the country.
In June, an NFT platform by the name of House of First partnered with Ja Rule and Rice’s joint venture, The Painted House. Together, House of First and The Painted House set out on a mission to empower and elevate creators of color. The first step on their joint journey was the release of their Black Is Beautiful collection. Led by artist Nick Davis, the NFT collection artistically displays “the raw emotions of Black Americans navigating both the joys and struggles of everyday life in America.”
Two months after its launch, “Black Is Beautiful” appears to be a success. During a recent interview with Billboard, Ja Rule claimed that 80% of the collection had already been sold. As the two entities work to sell the remaining 20% of the collection, Ja Rule and Rice have made plans to share the monetary gain with historically Black institutions. The duo plans to donate 10% of its “primary sales” to the following academic institutions: Jackson State University, Morgan State University, Hampton University, Spelman College and Morehouse College.
“We want this brand new venture to educate people of color on NFTs, cryptocurrency, blockchain and the whole space,” Ja Rule told Billboard.
“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.”