“Fuck rap money, I’ve made more off grapes. Fuck show money, I spent that on drapes” – Jay-Z (3 Kings)
Rappers have always had cultural cachet around their careers. Now it’s being more appreciated. That cachet has transformed to billions in cash. It’s no wonder people of all groups look at them for inspiration, myself included. Rap is musical poetry, yet these artists expand beyond their job’s expectation.
I’d be lying if I said rap lyrics and Breakfast Club interviews don’t teach me a few things about business practices behind the scenes, and the different worlds around me. You think I would know what a Patek Phillipe watch is without Lil Uzi? Or that you could rent it? But in all seriousness, those conversations in interviews and songs sometimes reveal the contracts, jargon, dynamics, and unspoken rules across different industries.
Most recently, Steve Stoute broke down how the new age of music heavily resides within the tech industry.
It always gives something new to learn, whether it’s in music, tech, food & beverage, or any other field.
Rappers consistently transcend outside of their designated lane. I think that’s noteworthy that they can’t be limited.
It’s the way we seen Diddy, Jay-Z, Kanye, and Nicki each cross over into the fashion world. Now, rappers have clothing partnerships all the time. BooHoo recently launched a collection with the City Girls. The food & beverage industry received a variety of new champagnes, vodkas, wines, and chips from an array of rappers (see Jay-Z, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Diddy, and Master P). Rappers have had their hands in the TV/film and tech industry for the past 20 years. It’s inspiring.
Granted, I won’t overlook celebrity status presents certain opportunities some may never see. But what other entertainers, or professions, in general, have the space to cross every line? None.
Now when I think of rappers, I think of people who take the opportunity to mobilize their careers into different industries.
Every rap career isn’t going to be a Shawn Carter or Dr. Dre. But those two, among many others, set a precedent for today’s incoming rappers that try to follow their steps. Whether to start a record label (4PF, OTF, 1017, etc.), remain independent, or head to silicon valley – a formula developed that works particularly well for the rap celebrity.
I don’t know every detail that happens behind closed doors, but I see the feats they make across different playing fields.
All from the start of a rap lyric.