Residents of the housing projects where rap mogul Jay Z grew up in Brooklyn, NY, say his latest endeavor is just a waste of their time.
He often reminisces about his humble beginnings and drug dealings in his rap songs.
"Where I'm from, Marcy son, ain't nothing nice," he raps in "Where I'm From."
He used to return to the projects bearing gifts for the younger residents, but he has since stopped, says a resident.
Now Jay Z has come up with a new venture - the Bitcoin Academy - a 12-week series of free "financial literacy" courses to teach low-income Marcy residents how to trade in Bitcoin.
The course will start at a time when Bitcoin investors have lost nearly $2.7 trillion since November 2021. Bitcoin crashed below $26,000 this week and is currently priced at $20,582.44 per coin.
After residents complete the course, they will receive a small amount of bitcoin worth around $20-$25 in their own digital wallets.
Most Marcy residents weren't aware of the bitcoin classes when a reporter dropped by on Wednesday afternoon.
A Twitter user posted an image of Bitcoin Academy flyers that were tossed in a pile on the floor in one building.
"This is how Jay Z's Bitcoin Academy is being distributed in Marcy Ps... Just throwing it in the lobby... lol," @Coach_HugginsJr wrote in the caption.
This is how Jay Z’s Bitcoin Academy is being distributed in Marcy Ps… Just throwing it in the lobby… lol
“Financial Literacy” pic.twitter.com/BQNdSO1Far
— Bayi (@Coach_HugginsJr) June 14, 2022
Nyashia Figueroa, a 24-year-old resident, agreed to speak with a reporter from The Guardian. She said Jay Z's Bitcoin Academy was a waste of the residents' time.
"Half the people that's going to go to that class, probably just going to go to the class for the $25 that you get," she said. "The other half of the people, they'll probably take what they learn and forget it down the line."
Figueroa said the classes show how out of touch Jay Z is with his people.
"If you want to do something, fix this place up," she said. "We have a basketball court with no hoops. Our parks is broken up in here. He should be doing more for his community, not no Bitcoin Academy."
She added: "The only thing I could say he really did for us was the Christmas stuff. Every Christmas he would come around and he would give out free toys to the kids or like pocketbooks, perfumes and little MP3 players. That was good; the bitcoin ain't."
She continued: "He stopped coming around, and then it was just his mother that was coming around for a long period of time. And now I don't even know if they do it any more. This is where he rep he's from and all that, but he don't do nothing for us."