PJ Morton is continuing late rapper Nipsey Hussle's legacy.
In the new music video for his song "Buy Back the Block," premiering exclusively on PEOPLE, the Maroon 5 keyboardist, 39, honors the life of Hussle — who was fatally shot in 2019 — and the ways he invested in his South Los Angeles community by taking to the streets of his own hometown, New Orleans, and donating to residents in need there.
"It really resonated with me how much he said about his community," Morton tells PEOPLE. "Not just said, but his actions back that up with the way that he invested in his community. It just really touched me. Here in New Orleans, I took it as my marching orders for his death to not be in vain and for the mass marathon to continue. I felt like, okay, here in my city, I want to start promoting that same message and try to invest in my community as well."
"Being a musician, I thought that it'd be good to have some theme music to go along with that," he adds. "That's where the song really came from. New Orleans has been such a big part of my life and my career. So, it's only right for me to give back to my home."
Morton hopes that "real change" comes out of the ongoing nationwide protests.
"We've been protesting since the '60s," he says. "The protesting isn't new. It looks different, though. It's not just Black people protesting, and I think that is a positive change. But what I hope to come out of it is not rhetoric, it's real changes from the top down."
In the future, Morton says he'll continue his partnership with Liberty Bank and working towards "buying back the block."
"I'm working with them on programs to make it even easier for people to invest in real estate, which is how wealth is created in our community," he says. "Look out for more programs."
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