An artist we all know from his role in the iconic Roc-A-Fella Records dynasty has fallen on hard times, according to recent reports.
Earlier this week, Memphis Bleek filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Bossip reports that Bleek has $0 in his Chase business account, $100 on hand, and $384,804.91 in debt compared to $274,190.00 in assets.
His liabilities reportedly include $335,000 owed on his home in New Jersey, $24,000 on a 2014 Chevy Impala, $9,000 owed to the IRS and $13,000 to Monmouth County Superior Court.
Of course, Twitter had jokes. But this can happen to anyone. More than most careers in the entertainment world, rappers are under constant pressure to maintain an appearance of wealth, whether that pressure is to impress fans or from within their own peer group. And many artists don’t have mentorship helping them save their money wisely.
It would be easy to assume Memphis Bleek has had those resources in spades, though. After all he’s a day one friend of Jay Z, who is respected as a top businessman in the U.S., both inside and out of hip-hop.
On the remix for Kanye West’s “Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” Jay famously rapped, “Bleek could be one hit away his whole career, as long as I’m alive he’s a millionaire.” Well, Jay isn’t just alive - he’s prospering, as Forbes just reported that he made $53.5 million within the last year. Bleek announced a partnership with Jay Z’s D’usse cognac in 2014, and he still posts photos with the liquor. And weeks ago, Bleek was using Instagram to post photos with his wife in Jamaica (though he could have been there on the clock for D’usse).
Is it a matter of Bleek simply mismanaging his money, and being too proud to ask his longtime friend for help? Is Jay not fulfilling the promise he made on wax? Or is Bleek taking the same route as many businesses have before him, and filing for bankruptcy as a shrewd way to reorganize his finances?
We e-mailed Memphis Bleek for further insight into the matter, but have yet to hear back. The veteran rapper isn’t the first artist to file for bankruptcy, and unfortunately, he won’t be the last.
By William Ketchum III, aka @WEKetchum
Photo Credit: Instagram