Gentrification, Class Warfare?


(the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents)

The average price of a home on Bedford-Stuyvesant in New York City has gone from $94,000-$775,000...  IN 15 YEARS.  And while many dispute that gentrification is an issue, or well, even a thing, it's hard to look past the numbers.  Especially with all those boutiques and organic food bars in the way.

Urban Dictionary Definition of Gentrification

(the "yuppification" of local businesses; shops catering to yuppie tastes like sushi restaurants, Starbucks, etc... come to replace local businesses displaced by higher rents)

 Bed-stuy is the home of hip hop legends Mos Def, Biggie, Jay Z and Lil Kim.  

Biggie Lyrics recall the reality of the city in '94

"Live from Bedford-Stuyvesant, the livest one/ representing BK to the fullest/ Gats I pull it/ Bastards duckin' when Big be bucking."

Today?  Well, it's an ever changing demographic.  The caucasian population alone has risen by 709% in the past 10 years.      

So.  What's the big deal? They're trying to revive the neighborhood right?  Crime was bad.  It was the focal point of the crack epidemic and war on drugs...  

Well, it gets complicated.  Many residents from the area are getting priced out of their homes.  The same reason that they came to these areas in the first place when even the Manhattan air was too expensive to breathe.  This has happened all over the country.

This also begs the bigger question. Has hip hop, the voice of the oppressed, the rebellion, the view into the reality of what many may have not seen had they not heard the music, been exploited and profited on while forgetting about what started the whole thing??

What do you guys think? Gentrification, good, bad, indifferent?  Is it class warfare? 

Check out this Vice documentary below about Bed-Stuy at 5:45. 


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  • Marcelo Lopes on

    Once again is money ruling the world. When a rich area is full, it tends to gradually swallow the poor neighborhoods around it. Even though I’d like to be on the hood side, I don’t see a way to stop this, cause it’s just business. If someone is willing to pay more than you can to live where you live, sadly there’s nothing you can do, and local businesses will also change to please the new residents. Again, that’s sad and I don’t like that it happens, but it’s the way it is and I don’t think we’re close to changing it.

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