Hip-Hop isn’t simply about spitting rhymes, selling records and sold out concerts in order to be among the richest in the game. No!
These hip-hop moguls managed to become just that by stepping up their game beyond music, and into endorsement deals and partnerships — turning themselves into businesses.
But, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s 17th Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit featured on a panel about “The Business of Hip Hop” — focusing on the global business aspect of hip hop and its culture.
George E. Curry, editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service moderated the panel while rapper and hip-hop producer Kangol Kid, and Jaz-O, a legendary rapper and record producer were among the many panelists.
First the two rappers and producers mentioned the difference between rap and hip-hop — noting rap is an extension of hip-hop culture.
Then they talked about how social media is promoting artists and their brands these days.
“Record labels are no longer into the business of developing artists anymore,” said Jaz-O.
Kangol Kid went from almost being sued to becoming a spokesman for Kangol. The company discovered their sales increased due to the rapper’s name and decided to hire him — becoming a rapper with a major endorsement deal.
Maurice L. Coleman, senior vice president, Community Development Banking – CGB, Bank of America Merrill Lynch talked about the business of the industry while Joshua Sneideman, educator fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy, said hip-hop artists should be more conscious and use their popularity for community and education for others.
“Other people are benefiting from the culture, accountants, stylists etc. The culture is still controlled by the majority,” Coleman said.