(TMU) — A hip-hop artist has caused a stir online after video emerged showing him raining cash on locals in the middle of the poverty-blighted “Skid Row” neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles.
The 22-year-old rapper known as Blueface climbed onboard a black Mercedes SUV in Skid Row before throwing money out of a bag while dozens of people below scramble to catch the flying cash and pick it up from the ground.
The artist, whose real name is Jonathan Michael Porteris, is known for the Benjamin Franklin tattoo on his cheek and a handful of hit tracks that reached viral status in recent years.
The video was filmed the day before Christmas Eve, according to Fox Business.
In a tweet captioned “the season of giving,” a 50-second clip shows him throwing wads of cash down on the hordes below his SUV.
Rapper, Blueface traveled to Skid Row in Downtown, Los Angeles today to give back to those in need during this holiday season. pic.twitter.com/9L37n9aZdM
— JaValle 🏁 (@JaValle) December 23, 2019
Rap All-Stars shared the viral clip and commented:
“Blueface pulled up in the hood and made it rain.”
While the clip has gained much attention, not all of it has been positive.
Broadway performer, actress, and writer Pia Glenn tweeted:
“There’s a dreadful video (I won’t post it) showing the rapper Blueface standing on a car throwing $ at unhoused & underserved ppl.
Some might think that’s some ‘baller shit.’ Many will think he’s ‘giving back.’ What he’s doing is DEMORALIZING and HUMILIATING ppl who deserve better.”
There's a dreadful video (I won't post it) showing the rapper Blueface standing on a car throwing $ at unhoused &underserved ppl. Some might think that's some "baller shit." Many will think he's "giving back." What he's doing is DEMORALIZING and HUMILIATING ppl who deserve better
— @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) December 24, 2019
In a separate tweet responding to a critic asking how much she was giving the homeless, Glenn further noted the strange and impersonal manner in which Blueface was dispensing the cash. She wrote:
“I certainly don’t have money like that but I actually do work regularly with those communities. I’m not saying he needs to do what I do, but even walking around saying hello and chatting while physically handing out cash would’ve been better. As opposed to that weird Joker shit.”
Media studies professor and author Marc Lamont Hill had a similarly critical take on the event, tweeting:
“Wow. Blueface stood on top of a car and flung money into a crowd of poor people.
This is not ‘the spirit of giving.’ This is contempt of the poor mixed with narcissism. Even if his intentions were good, this isn’t ok. Hopefully he has someone advising him.”
Wow. Blueface stood on top of a car and flung money into a crowd of poor people. This is not “the spirit of giving.” This is contempt of the poor mixed with narcissism. Even if his intentions were good, this isn’t ok. Hopefully he has someone advising him. pic.twitter.com/N4QIwZ06HO
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) December 24, 2019
Skid Row is a roughly 50-block district lying just east of downtown L.A. For over a century, the neighborhood has been the unofficial repository for thousands unwanted poor folks in the region, including parolees, drug addicts, and the long-term homeless. Working-poor communities also live in the region.
The California-born rapper has been popular since the 2018 music video for his track “Respect My Crypn” went viral. In February, the Cash Money Records recording artist further achieved fame when the single “Thotiana” made it into the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs Chart.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Blueface is worth roughly $4 million dollars.