“Modern estimations credit Musa with a net worth of 400 billion $ or 248 billion €, making him by far the richest man in recorded history and thus the ultimate king of ballers”.
Is your favorite rapper a baller? If he is, tell him to give praises to the original and undefeated king of “ballin’”: Mansa Musa I the Lion of Mali. Emperor of Mali for 25 years (depending on the sources, from 1307 to 1332 or 1312 to 1337), this grandnephew of the great Sundiata Keita is known for being the wealthiest man in recorded history. He gained access to the throne when his predecessor set on a journey to cross the Atlantic Ocean and, from his account, never came back. The empire he ruled over, which stretched along the Niger river from the Atlantic coast to Songhai, had nothing to envy other empires in their administrative structure, as this King of kings(mansa, his title, translate either into King of kings or Emperor)had governors appointed to each province and mayors to each village. And under his reign, the kingdom attained “global power” status, an achievement partly due to his pilgrimage to the Mecca.
In 1324 Mansa Musa went on thehajj, the pilgrimage to the Mecca every Muslim is called to do, and appointed his son Magha as deputy. But this king was riding 72,000 deep: 60,000 men and 12,000 servants each carrying 4 lbs of gold bars, heralds dressed to impress in fine silk and gold staffs, and 80 camels carrying 50 to 300 pounds of gold dust each. Charitable as he was, he distributed gold along his way to the poor, exchanged it for souvenirs, built houses for his men and erected a mosque every Friday. The extraordinary amount of riches he had was mainly coming from the Bambuk gold mines which contained half of the world’s gold supply. His tremendous generosity devastated Eastern Mediterranean economies, as the sudden influx in gold he caused in the region considerably devalued gold for a decade, a one-man induced super inflation.
To alleviate his stunning economic impact, he borrowed large amounts of gold at a high interest rate from lenders in the region. This made him the only man in history to have singlehandedly controlled the value of gold in the Mediterranean, and an indirect cause of the Italian Renaissance some centuries after. Accounts of his wealth and generosity went from Alexandria to Venice and all around, putting him on the maps of European merchants lusty for gold.
His wealth also attracted a lot of scholars, merchants and architects from Asia, Europe and other kingdoms of Afrika, and Malian cities soon became prosperous centers of high knowledge and education. The Mali Empire, at the apex of territorial expansion, flowered under his command. He built universities in Timbuktu, Djenne, Segou and Niani, his capital, in which he also built a monumental palace. It is under him that Timbuktu became renowned for Islamic scholarship. He is also said to have fathered in part the Sudano-Sahelian architecture.
Modern estimations credit Musa with a net worth a 400 billion $ or 248 billion €, making him by far the richest man in recorded history and thus the ultimate king of ballers. He is also said to have established trans-Atlantic commerce or at least attempted to do so. Interestingly, he was also known by the name of Kankou Musa or Kankan Musa, indicating the name of his mother and through this tradition the matriarchal Afrikan values that had yet to be erased by Islam and Christianity. Knowledge of this custom could help your favorite rapper switch from rapping about sexing a new female with a (nice) booty every night to praising the beauty and wonders of the woman, Mother Nature. Another interesting fact about Mansa Musa is that on his way back from the Mecca, he went to the city of Gao to take the two sons of its rebellious king as hostages and have them educated at his court, under his supervision. What does this tell us about our Afrikan youth going abroad in order to get educated in the Western World?
I Lex is a young Ras hailing from West Afrika and living in Ottawa, Canada, studying translation and linguistics because he “knows that the key to overstanding the trap lies in language”.
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