Rappers Love to Talk About Money Not Business

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Yes, I mean most rappers, not all, whether they are Hip Hop or Pop, love to talk about what money buys. And yes, they do like to talk about business, but only in relation to the dead-end trap of drug business. In that, we can hear discussions about prices and tales of how they sold fake product to coke-fiends down on their luck, but not much else. All that is secondary to the real art of business or for that matter the business of selling art. Beyond the discussions about how to package a product, there are considerations about branding, positioning that brand and satisfying markets or developing them. In a real discussion about business there are topics which include sustainability and shared value, both of which modern pop rap fails to consider.

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Yes, rap music is overly preoccupied  with the trappings of success, rather than the cultivation of the process which can sustain that success. This again, is a distinguishing feature that defines hip-hop music in opposition to pop-rap music. Hip Hop as a culture, and expressed through the music in the 1980’s and 90’s, was a desire for recognition and sustainability or a permanent place in society. Now that we have that place, some beneficiaries of that progress have forgotten why we started this thing in the first place. We didn’t start Hip Hop Kulture as a pop trend. We instead, discovered the innate creativity and self-sustainability of our own work and chose to call it Hip Hop! Hip Hop is a lane of prosperity created by us who were there, for these generations now, to be affected by and use as they see fit. And yes, all of that has positive and negative implications; from the idea that we created something that the next generation (Millennials), was affected by without their consent, or that they use it without consideration of the consequences now. Both these ideas are being discussed by intellectual circles within the epicenter of the Hip Hop community, but not so much on radio or in blogs obviously. Still, it’s not too late to ‘conversate’ or at least begin something resembling a Hip Hop business conclave.

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We have all of the means and Worldwide access to develop the most comprehensive plans for Hip Hop prosperity and sustainability at our fingertips. We just don’t have the desire to initiate that conversation or understand the constraints and parameters under which that conversation  can best take place. The first thing to understand is that all non-Hiphoppas must be excluded from the discussion because they will slow it down. I’ve addressed the subject in depth on video already without having to rehash that now though. Next, is the idea that understanding, developing and regulating Hip Hop business is the key to its sustainability and shared value. In order to do that, we have to first make Hiphoppas aware of what they have now and what they could have in the future compared to what they’ve had in the past already. Hip Hop is a multi-billion, (some say trillion) dollar-a-year, industry of interconnected products, services and marketing techniques. That business supplies individuals with merchandise, events, and content that either increases or decreases Hip Hop’s overall brand positioning even beyond their own specific branding effort. For example, too many similar products can lead to what’s called, ‘over-saturation’ of a market. That leads to prices in the whole market falling as a response to the lack of specialization. This business principle, like many others, applies to Hip Hop and can be utilized to it’s benefit.

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Kurt Nice

Kurt Nice aka Kurtiss Jackson is a behind the scenes pioneer in the Hip Hop Kulture, creating the first nationally distributed video mix tape series, Shades of Hip Hop, in the late 1990s. Since touring the country with the Stop the Violence Movement and the Temple of Hip Hop as KRS-ONE’s National Marketing Director, Kurt Nice has been a constant commentator on conscious Hip Hop and its relevance to the new rap music of today, through radio and cable appearances. contact Kurt at info@hiphoplives.net

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