Hip hop was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday as T.I. and Charlamagne tha God participated in the Opportunity Zone Minority Investors Summit and Congressional Black Caucus meeting where they discussed economic investments in African American communities. It was previously reported that late rapper Nipsey Hussle was scheduled to meet with politicians and policymakers regarding the same issues in Washington, D.C. prior to his death.
According to USA Today, both T. I. and Charlamagne discussed their interests in opportunity zones, a program created by the 2017 tax bill to incentivize investment in distressed areas. “I was born in an opportunity zone, and I’ve been making significant investments and contributions to the community that I have called home for all my life that is now zoned as an opportunity zone,” T.I. said. Charlamagne added, “I don’t want to be just another gentrifier that comes in, gets rich, buys these communities and pushes these people out.”
Representative Antonio Delgado from New York said, “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done…there needs to be some skin in the game. Individuals who come from these areas, who know the community, who have a responsibility and feel that responsibility beyond the bottom line.” Delgado, a former rapper himself, appreciated the two men coming to speak their minds.