Hip-Hop was made possible because of technological ingenuity. While the culture is mainly appreciated for its artistry, a significant case can be made for its impact on technology. Hip-Hop has made a huge impact on technology companies economically. Several companies like Panasonic, Akai, and Ensoniq were able to flourish because they provided tool to enable hip-hop’s creativity. Software companies like Avid and Ableton are also able to benefit from providing digital tools for creativity. Principally however it all began with a DJ in the Bronx. Kool Herc will use turntables and his elaborate sound system, that draws power from public utilities to create parties.
New York is the birthplace of Hip-Hop on 1520 Sedwick Ave in the Bronx by DJ Kool Herc. The culture which is over 45 years old, started at a party in August 11th 1973. The culture began using technology of a direct drive turntable, created a year earlier by Japan’s Panasonic, Technics Division. Created in 1972, the SL-1200 were the tools of the trade. The 1200 allowed DJ’s to mix music, to find a grove and keep the music going continuously. From this point the culture will evolve with visual art in graffiti, break dancing with dancers dancing to the groves kept by the DJ. MC’s will begin rapping to similar groves kept together by the DJ. The entrepreneurial evolution of the culture to the present has been fascinating. A postcard for a party becomes a culture that powers entrepreneurs like; Russell Simmons, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, P-Diddy, and others. Its spans the globe and inspires entrepreneurs of various stripes. Women are empowered to engage in entrepreneurship. The automotive industry is also impacted economically by the influence of hip-hop culture. In the south, Texas and Louisiana in particular, artists will create the platform for the top selling artist in music history. This is Hustlenomics.
Owners Illustrated Magazine had a chance to meet Kool Herc on multiple occasions. My global travels will take me to Osaka, Japan. While in Osaka I will meet a senior executive and the chief technology officer of Technics. I met with Michiko Ogawa, a Jazz musician who also serves as Executive Officer, Chief Director of Technology, Manager of Technics Business Promotion Office and Vice President of Appliances Company in Panasonic Corporation. I also met with Tetsuya Itani the CTO of Technics. Mitchiko is one of the most senior women engineers in Japan. I had met the pair several times at the IFA, a global consumer electronics and technology conference held annually in Berlin, Germany. Over $4.5 Billion in transactions occurred at the conference in 2017. While I was at IFA I was able to perform some songs from a special music project between Da Great Deity Dah and the Music Department of Carnegie Mellon University.
During my travel to Osaka I visited local shops and explored the vinyl community. My trip culminated with a visit to Panasonic center where music from The Carnegie Mellon Sessions is played in the special $100,000 Sound Room. This project uses lessons learned from a music career that began with $40 worth of tapes at the Million Man March in 1995 and will reach globally within a year with my inaugural vinyl release, Life or Death in 1996.
But why was the SL-1200 so special?
According to Technics website. The SL-1200 boasted stable performance thanks to the D.D. motor, and attracted a great deal of attention from DJs. The direct-drive motor provided excellent rotational performance with an S/N ratio of 60 dB and wow and flutter of 0.03%. It delivered powerful startup torque that spun the turntable platter to the rated speed in just a half turn. The speed selector was electronic and fine adjustments could be made in a range of 10% for both 33-1/3 and 45 rpm. The large turntable platter measuring 33 cm in diameter and weighing 1.75 kg was adjusted to optimal dynamic balance. The edge of the platter was angled to 45 degrees and engraved with Technics players’ iconic strobe marks. The illuminator located next to the platter enabled fine adjustment of spin speed with high accuracy. The tone arm was a precision-made die-cast S-shape pipe. A dust cover was also supplied with the product.
The business of the culture however was underground because many aspects of the culture were informal. Live performances of shows were recorded and tapes of these performances were sold on an underground circuit. These underground circuits were the precursors to the mixtapes that will launch careers of superstars like 50 Cent and Jay-Z. An interesting aspect of DJing was the requirement of 2 turntables and also 2 copies of select vinyl records. Economically this doubled sale of two products, vinyl records and record players. It also added sales of mixers and microphones along with amplifies to complete the sound system. When these items were developed, they weren’t paired as one individual system. Kool Herc as a pioneering DJ, party promoter, and entrepreneur extraordinaire in creating the culture of hip-hop boosted several industry segments in consumer electronics.
A multi million-dollar industry is established that becomes a multi-billion-dollar business selling hip-hop music and culture. Every major recording label gets involved in selling the culture. Avid a software company generated $413 million in revenue in 2018. Technics has sold over 3.5 million sl-1200 turntables to date.
A fascinating conversation among friends and family on the struggles and triumphs of founding Owners Illustrated Magazine. The story starts off with a strategy to direct market at urban events like NBA All Star weekend in Atlanta in 2003, to other events like the Kentucky Derby, Miami for Memorial weekend, culminating with participating on the Roc The Mic Tour with 50 cent and Jay-Z. The tale covers the many innovative techniques from crowd funding before there was a Kickstarter by having pre-sales from events and rewards in terms of fashion merchandise and music related items. Other innovative techniques involve the approach to building viral awareness of the publication by creating a reading space around the Ford Expedition owned by founder Damola Idowu. A mock issue of the publication was presented to potential reader along with a folding table and chairs. There was a vinyl wrap on the Expedition that was provocative in nature which garnered attention and would wind up making 1,000,000 impressions on concert goers and other people in the cities of the tour. Bryan ” Fashion Williams” speaks on his career in fashion and how he came in contact with the Owners Illustrated Magazine team. Dawoud Shahidu would discuss his efforts to support his brother founder Damola Idowu and navigate several difficult urban environments to build awareness for the nascent magazine brand. The discussion covers the several celebrities featured in the inaugural issue from; 50 cent, Jay-Z, The Clipse, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Funk Master Flex, Busta Rhymes, Maino, and many others. Wole Idowu the son of founder Damola and CTO of their Tech startup on the Campus of Carnegie Mellon University lends a millennial’s perspective to the conversation. Other publications will eventually be launched including: Hustlenomics, The Womens Issue, and Toyz Magazines. Here is a video trailer that captures some of these moments. [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7bizREi7qc[/embedyt]
Episode 1 of the Hustlenomics Way. Hip-Hop + Business 101 covers the definition of the word Hustlenomics by the coiner of the term Damola Idowu. He created the term in 2002 and has since register a trademark for it, to define how he went about building his Hip-Hop Business magazine Owners Illustrated and several subsequent titles. Basically creating his own press pass for his team and printing 5000 flyers they descended upon the Funk Master Flex car show where several hip-hop luminaries were present along with their vehicles. He will network with many of them and take several pictures that will populate a website for Owners Illustrated Magazine. The concept of the website was to document the entrepreneurial ventures and the lifestyle of hip hop artist and their business partners. There was a question posed on the website, “Who will be RAP’s first billionaire” as to suggest one of these luminaries will eventually use “Hustlenomics” to achieve a billion dollars in wealth. Damola Idowu is introduced by Dave Mawhinney head of the Swartz Center of Entrepreneurship, the give the lecture at the distinguished Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He uses visual aids to describe Hustlenomics techniques and also provide context to business success by hip-hop artists. On our main page of Hustlenomics.com you can find the video of the lecture and see some of the slides used during the presentation. There were questions at the end and plans for future lectures at the University. Damola Idowu is also an international recording artist under the moniker Da Great Deity Dah and he uses that experience as an artist out of Washington DC in the Mid 90’s to detail how his approach to building his career was also “Hustlenomics”. He started with just 40 tapes at the Million Man March in Washington, DC on October 16 1995 and will release an EP on Vinyl internationally by February 1996. As a teenager with a young family including a son born in August of 1996 he will go on to release several albums using a comic book image instead of a picture to also build a comic book brand. He will sell T-Shirts with the comic book image and in the process introduce his son to many aspects of creative arts space inspiring his so to also utilize his artistic gifts. In the lecture this approach is discussed as his son Wole Idowu began Carnegie Mellon University at 15 and will graduate at 20 with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering along with 2 minors in business from the Tepper School of Business. Damola and Wole will go on to found a technology startup at the Swartz Center of Entrprenuership on the Carnegie Mellon campus where they held hackathons to increase diversity in the creative fields thru a student organization founded on campus by Wole called, Toyz Nation Gaming League. The lecture is interactive and spans almost an hour and twenty minutes in length. Watch this trailer to see Damola in action. [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7bizREi7qc[/embedyt]
Mona Scott is one of the most legendary business women in the history of hip-hop. Beyond her career as a talent manager, she has built a formidable TV producing empire. Love and Hip-Hop is her brain child and the platform has served as a vehicle to impact several other industries economically. Beyond being a platform to serve advertisers with eyeballs, she develops talent that become mega stars. Cardi-B comes to mind, along with Remy Ma. Remy is married to Papoose and they are a very successful power couple in Hip-Hop culture. Papoose built his own brand based on his lyrical quality and rhyming prowess. He was quite formidable on the underground music circuit in New York city. His back story on the show however is his branding of “Black Love”. He reversed the usual trend on Black women supporting their men during their time of incarceration. Papoose was dedicated and loyal to Remy Ma during her incarceration and that endeared him as a new age Black Man.
Papoose is a New York Legend who demolished mixtapes and with partner Kay Slay. They garnered a $1.5 million record deal with Jive Records for his debut album,The Nacirema Dream. He released several mixtapes with DJ Kayslay and his lyricism was unmatched by any. His relationship with his wife is documented on the hit TV series Love and Hip-Hop. Their relationship details are shared weekly with audiences and creates intense engagement on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Events like renewing their vows and announcing an addition coming to their family enhanced their Black Love brand with audiences. He changed the narrative and branding of strong black men thru the support of his then incarcerated spouse. He acquired a $1.5 Million recording contract after building his own brand thru the streets of New York. Prior to signing with Jive records he and Kayslay had partnered with NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal. Shaquille O’Neal had Deja 34, his own record label.
Kayslay was instrumental behind the record label launch and Shaq promoted the pair as a $1 million partnership. Via our publication Owners Illustrated Magazine we were on hand for the unique partnership. Interesting thing about this partnership is that it was first known on the “Streets” in 2004. Getty Images will publish pictures in 2005 from the mainstream announcement in New York at hotel Paris. An added benefit of having Shaq back the project is you get the NBA’s quasi involvement. This partnership was prior to the deeper integration of NBA athletes and hip-hop culture. Shaq himself was a pioneer in this space as he recorded several gold albums while flourishing in his NBA career. Pairing with such a gifted wordsmith also solidifies Shaq’s credibility in the culture. Kayslay is a legendary DJ from New York, he is well known throughout the New York state prison system. Underground artist don’t normally sign such lucrative contracts. Major recording label prefer more commercially acceptable packaging.
HOW HE DID IT
We interviewed Papoose exclusively for Hustlenomics Magazine right after he signed his disruptive record deal.
In the early days of the hip-hop culture you had to be certified by a legend before you could be granted the privilege of rocking the mic exemplified by Kurtis Blow introducing Run (now Rev Run) and as such the quality of the music remained strong and artist were properly versed in the craftsman that is an MC. In the fashion that a young Khamal (Q-Tip) was introduced by the Jungle Brothers, and Leaders of the New School (Busta Rhymes) were introduced by fellow long Island native Public Enemy Papoose has been groomed by Kool G Rap, Schooled by Kay Slay, introduced b y Busta Rhymes and managed by Chris Lighty with this setup and a $1.5 million dollar deal from Jive records, the future of the New York sound is here, and like 50 cent and Lloyd Banks before him he has also won the Best Mixtape artist of the year award, in fact he won the last one official presented by Justo who unfortunately met his demise while on his grind driving late hours in VA. Pap has put in work and his 15 mixtape albums, pardon 16 and by the time you read this he will probably have added to that title can attest to the soul of a true hustler who has been determined to get the right price for his product and has been willing to put in the work to build up his value. It’s not about the deal it’s about how he can prosper and with lessons learned having been initially introduced by Kool G Rap in the late 90’s Pap was born for this. A supreme lyricist who’s story telling ability has produced motion picture quality unusual for the mixtape circuit like his tale about a Katrina victim, or his take on the hip hop police or his lessons for convicts on utilizing the law library, Papoose has a rare ability to draw the listener in and spark you higher consciousness effortlessly. What is amazing is the fact that he doesn’t even write anything down. This Bedford Stuyvesant native shares that ability with two other Brooklyn product Jay-Z and Biggie. Having put in work it is now time for Pap to reap the benefits and his success can only open doors for others in the rotten apple who seek an opportunity to display their multi-media wares in this new game where technology rules and great songwriting is a premium where you can generate revenues in multiple media as evident by Universal Music Group acquiring BMG’s entire catalog for $2.05 billion dollars. Pap’s ready here is part one in his own words here is his journey.
You been doing this for a minute but for those who ain’t seen the MTV You Heard It First, the BET First Up Look and all that just introduce ‘em to yourself and what this whole Thug-A-Cation movement about.
Basically, I go by the name of Papoose, the most lyrical
one, born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
I been putting in a lot of work. The
street’s is responding. Corporate market
is responding. It’s a real big look
right now so I think the world and the industry need to really brace their
self for what’s about to go down. The title of my album is The Nacirema Dream. Thug-A-Cation is my organization, my family, my
movement, and my understanding.
Alright now take us back man, cause some people thinking Pap a new artist beyond the fourteen mixtapes…Boyz in the Hood just hit the streets going crazy with the bootleggers. Take us back man to like ’98, ’99, you rolling with G Rap. He was putting his label together out of Arizona. You jumped on that album. Talk about that. How’d that even connect?
Yo, I was a problem back then, man. I was terrorizing back then in my
neighborhood just putting in work, creating them real lyrics. Basically, Kool G Rap, a producer he was
working with by the name of J Swift, was a good friend of mine…
Yeah, Swift is hot.
Yeah I had recorded a record called Above the Limits with two other artists and G Rap wound up hearing
that record. He was like I want to meet this
kid. So J Swift made the connection,
shout out to J Swift. He made the
connection. I came down. Sat down with G Rap, spit a couple cat’s
heads off in front of G Rap…G respect that real lyricism then he put me on his
album, Roots of Evil. We did a record called Home Sweet Funeral Home, crazy joint.
Lets talk about your travels in that era and what you were doing, grinding back then and which conferences you was hittin’. What was the moves you was making back in ’99, ’98?
I mean basically as far as music is concerned, man, what I
was just doing was just coming up with ill lyrics and basically, I put together
Alphabetical Slaughter back then. It was a record where I flowed from A to Z
which was never done so superb, I mean in hip-hop history, hands down. Basically, I put that together and what I
used to do back then was I used to just press up white labels. I pressed up a
white label Alphabetical Slaughter which
led to a single on Select Records.
Run DMC was at Select, too, right, at that time?
M.O.P. was over there too…But they tried to get me to do a
album. They tried to sign me for eight
albums, crazy album deal. I turned them
down. I went back to the streets and
started grinding. But I did various
things back then. I used to do shows
here and there. See the battle thing
that cats is trying to do now I was terrorizing back then with that so I’m more
or less past that. I was in the streets taking cats’ money with the battle
thing. I was doing a lot of different
things back then.
You bring I like to say a vintage flow, a vintage approach to emceeing, You know you had Biggie. He opened the door. Set it down. I mean really Big Daddy Kane. Kane, then Biggie which really was a connection, right ‘cause I mean Mister C, Kane DJ brought him in. Then you got Jay. But then all of y’all don’t even right, don’t write your lyrics down. And then, now you. And then with Jay’s formation it was like Brooklyn and Harlem connected and with you and K ay Slay it’s like Brooklyn and Harlem connecting again. Like talk about the heritage of the Brooklyn MC and just yourself, just your ability to write your, like to create songs without having to write ‘em down.
Basically, me creating songs without having to write ‘em
down, I didn’t even know that was a talent, like that’s something that I always
did. Like I practiced my craft so hard
that, that s**t just became my form of creativity for the simple fact that some
dudes would just sit down with a pen and a paper right now if I was sitting
here right now trying to write a rhyme.
I don’t feel like it’s enough in this environment for me to create a rhyme,
you know so throughout the course of my day, as I would move around, I would
create my rhymes as I was moving around throughout the course of my day, and I
didn’t need a pen because my memory was so sharp. So whatever I came up with I would remember
it and over the years I always did that.
And I didn’t even know it was a talent until I started hearing Big say
that’s what I do and I seen people like, ‘wow’.
So I was like, damn I guess I got another talent, man because I did that
from day one. I been doing that.
Where’d you get your influences from?
I’m influenced by the old school. I know y’all hear me say that a lot but
that’s the honest truth, man. For the
simple fact that when they attacked the mic back then it was only a handful of
emcees that was nice back then. It was a
lot of mc’s but only a handful was nice.
And when they got on the mic, they attacked the mic. So I learned from
them. So a lot of these dudes, they
learning from, you know, idiotic teachers.
That’s why they rap so wack. I
learned from greats, man, like G Rap, Kane, when I was coming up I studied
their music, man. I respected it. So for me to come on the mic I would come
with no less, man. I always attacked the
mic just like them. I came from that era
where if you was rapping you had to be nice.
If you was wack, you didn’t get no love or no respect. If you was a biter, you didn’t get no love or
no respect and I was a little dude just analyzing all that. So I just took it in and it’s a part of me
Now what influence if any did Rakim have on you?
A lot of influence, man, Rakim, one of the greatest lyricist. Big Daddy Kane, he don’t get his just due,
one of the greatest. G Rap as you was
saying. Slick Rick, LL Cool J, the list goes on. I know I’m forgetting a couple of cats. Cats don’t mention dudes like Grand Daddy I.U.
Yeah, yeah, yeah It was a lot of cats even Ace from Brooklyn. Master Ace, he was killing em back then.
Yeah, list goes on, but I learned from the old school. You know back then it wasn’t only about
spittin, man, it was about talent and it still is People just get it twisted sometimes.
Now talk about like your craft I mean the composing, word structure, metaphors, punch lines. But what grabs me the most that stays with me is when you compose stories like the one you did over the Hate It Or Love It beat. What inspired that?
That joint right there reflected on life, man. A lot of my
lyrics, a high percentage of my lyrics reflect on life and I just speak about
life experiences. But the lyrical part
and the poetic part and you know my influence from the old school, it just
helps me bring it out more. It gives you
a better understanding. It gives me you
know a better ability to give you the comparisons, So I might compare my rhyme
to a magazine or Vitamin Water and I tell you why I use that metaphor so that’s
what that gave me but the lyrics that he referred to that’s just a reflection
And the one that really hit me is the Katrina joint you detailed the story and talked about the man and he has his wife dying. He got to save his child so he letting his wife just drown Like where’d you get the ability, it’s like you captured the emotion cause when I listen to it I always got to take it back like it’s a movie and you see it. It’s so visual.
Where’d you get those influences from?
Yo certain things, some of that is just natural, man. It’s God-given. Word up, man.
But it’s like an extra ability to be able to feel, because you ain’t from New Orleans but the way you diagrammed and painted the picture of the story I could understand.
Basically I’ma break it down for you. Like I always say man when you take a check
from these labels and you signed to these labels you wear the title of artist, So
if you consider yourself as or referred to as a artist you should be able to do
that. You see how you said I’m not from
New Orleans If you know the definition of a artist you supposed to be able to
put yourself in the shoes of others, So me just lookin’ into the media and
seeing how it was going down over there, you know, taking certain things that
the media didn’t want us to see but showed us by accident, you know, in the process of showing us what
they wanted us to see. With me having
the knowlwdge to just look and say, oh, look at this though, they not speaking
on this but they speaking on this. So I
would just analyze things certain things that was going on in the media and I
just spoke on it. I just put it into
For yourself how do you view the whole hip-hop landscape, right now? What do you feel is missing? What’s your impression of what’s going down right now?
I’ma tell you, man, in my honest
opinion, man. I studied this game for a
long time, I made attempts to get in this game for a long time. I wouldn’t sit here and tell you it was easy
or you know none of that phoniness. I
studied this for a long time and throughout that process I practiced my craft, I
worked hard at it. So me being in front
of your camera, in front of BET, in front of MTV camera and opening these
magazines, me sitting there, me waking up in the morning, my music is on the radio
and my face is on the tube the game is missing nothing, man, you know what I’m
saying, because I’m bringing all elements to the table. I’m not lacking nothing, man. I’m coming with everything, full 360 so me
being present in the game and me studying the game all this time, the game is
not lacking nothing right now. When my
album come, it’s gonna be a full course meal, man.
Now, from your point of view what do you figure that you bringing into the game? What do you figure that you bringing into the game like Papoose, Thug-A-Cation what is your niche? What is your brand about?
Basically I’m bringing to the game man what all these other
mc’s lack, man and that’s just a true story.
Like you ain’t gonna see another Papoose, man for so many years. A individual like myself come along in this
game years apart from each other, man.
It’s gonna be a long time before y’all hear somebody like me that could
talk about the streets and then talk about a incident like Katrina, you know and
really do it to the fullest extent. So hands down, this is God-given man, and
basically as far as the whole South movement and everything, I respect it. It’s
not just about record sales like even Slay broke it down. Like y’all say the South is winning at the
end of day artists like 50 Cent is outselling them, but it’s not just
that. I was down there. I was out there, ATL. And I looked at it. I analyzed the party scene. It’s like they was just having more fun,
Where you think your work ethic came from?
Aw man, just loving hip-hop, loving the game, man. Without lights, camera, action, radio, magazine, I still would do this. I do this for real so it’s natural for me. While y’all dudes is trying to mimic and thinking this shit is mechanical, I’m doing it naturally. It’s nothing for me to make a song or sixteen bars. While your brain’s hurting, it’s nothing for me cause I do it natural. I do it from the heart. I feel like this is what I was born to do.
Papoose has 1.8 Million followers on Instagram and 180 K followers on Twitter. His wife Remy Ma has 7.5 M followers on Instagram and 434 K followers on Twitter. Instagram is a huge money generator for Facebook. A huge portion of the content that generates the eyeballs on Instagram in urban and hip-hop related. Shows like Love and Hip-Hop drive the discussion and power the engagement on the social media platforms. Instagram is projected to earn $14 Billion in revenue in 2019. Twitter just reported Q3 2019 earnings of $824 million. Nielsen just released a report on Black consumers in the USA. In the report they identified over 25 million African Americans are Millennials. Instagram reaches 45% of African Americans. African Americans are more receptive to television advertising by 23% over total population. This correlates to the impact of shows like Love and Hip-Hop and how consumers engage on social media and amplify the impact of their conversation.
Remy Ma has has a long and storied career in hip-hop. She made a hit the massive Lean Back released an album, got incarcerated due to a violent indecent with a relative and returned to grace TV screens with Love and Hip-Hop. She would again team up with Fat Joe of Terror Squad fame and make another monster hit All The Way Up. Her husband Papoose was featured in the first issue of Hustlenomics, and their love story is one of lore in hip-hop for the faithful and unwavering support he lent her during her incarceration and their struggles to have a baby. Remy Ma is currently pregnant and she made the announcement recently at a vow renewal ceremony between her and her husband and gave more details in an Instagram post
We initially interviewed Remy Ma for our Women’s magazine.
This is the second part of our Men of Love and Hip-Hop series. Mona Scott is one of the most legendary business women in the history of hip-hop. Beyond her career as a talent manager, she has built a formidable TV producing empire. Love and Hip-Hop is her brain child and the platform has served as a vehicle to impact several other industries economically. Beyond being a platform to serve advertisers with eyeballs, she develops talent that become mega stars. Cardi B has been the most notable start on the Love and Hip-Hop platform but Lil Scrappy has had his fill of partners on the show. Lil Scrappy shares a child with Erica Dixon. Lil Scrappy is currently married to Bambi Benson. This messy intrigue fuels the entertainment factory of this “Reality show”.
Before Love and Hip-Hop, Lil Scrappy was the official “Prince of Crunk”. He had collaborated with Lil Jon, and eventually would release his album under a partnership with G-Unit and BME(Lil Jon’s Label). He would also show his entrepreneurial spirit with his help in the development of the A-Town sensation Crime Mob, with their hit single Knuck if You Buck which featured him. We hung out with Lil Scrappy at his album release party and met up with future megastar Nicki Minaj on her grind. We saw the potential back then. Lil Jon who had signed Lil Scrappy to his label was one of the first artist to do an exclusive interview with us back in 2002 when Hustlenomics and Owners Illustrated were in their early stages. Lil Scrappy will also collaborate with G-Unit’s own, Young Buck to make a hit Money in The Bank for his debut album Bred to Die Born to Live.
HOW HE DID IT
With a charisma that belies his title of Prince of Crunk,
Lil Scrappy is poised to put more money in the bank. With a unique arrangement
between two industry titans, 50 Cent and Lil Jon to co-executive produce his solo
full length project “Bred 2 Die Born 2 Live” as a Joint Venture between their
companies G-Unit, and BME respectively, the Zone 3 Atlanta native is ready and
loaded with a bevy of hits. Paired with fellow G-Unit member Young Buck on the
infectious single Money in the Bank,
The single was produced by Isaac Hayes III, son of soul legend Isaac Hayes. On Money in the Bank and the Lil Jon
assisted “Gangsta Gangsta,” Scrappy
delivers the energy that made him an A-Town staple with bangers like No Problems, and Headbussa both of which were on his gold debut EP The King of Crunk
& BME Recordings Present: Trillville & Lil Scrappy. Also sharing the
same management with 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Missy Elliot, and others
at Violator, Lil Scrappy is next to ascend to super star status. We got an
opportunity to sit down with Lil Scrappy this summer at the BME as he was
preparing his album, and had a chance to discuss a variety of topics including
how he paired up with 50 Cent, and his preparation for his anticipated success,
his crew and Label G’s Up, and how it all began for him.
Q: So what it is
Ya already know it’s the muthaf**kin Prince of Crunk, Prince
of the South, here from the A-town Southeast, zone 3, but really from the A all
over this thang, GsUp, BME, G-unit that’s what it is
Q: Talk about G’s Up and what that’s about
God is over us you know, all the time, so I came up with the
God part and one of my homies that saved my life a long time ago, ya know one
of my gangsters, that I like the GsUp part and I kept it with me. GsUp are all
family members, my lil brother Lil Chris, my cousin Pooh Baby, my cousin Toine,
got the blood brothers they my kin folk, Crime Mob. It’s just my label that I’m
branching off with, to help my ni**az, who you will be seeing real soon.
Q: How did you get in the game and where you from?
Born in Grady that’s in the middle, the heart of Atlanta, the first thing
you see off the express way. From Zone 3, we ain’t with the gangs and stuff
down here. We got a lil thing down here where some people might gang bang or
whatever, they come from a lil country -town or whatever, but Atlanta ni**az, we goddamn country city
ni**az. We don’t do all that gang banging, we do zones. Like you up in
pre-trial, on Wright Street
ni**a, you’ll muthaf**kin know what zone you from, like ni**az is crazy with
that shit. I’m from the A really. I moved over to the West-end after I was
born, Decatur, Chapel Road, then
moved back out to the 3 with my momma, when she was doing her thing in the
street, and that’s where I stayed at. Moved to East point for a lil while and came right
back to the 3 and when I left the three, I brought it back to the East-side to
finish it all out. I got kicked outta school or whatever, went to a lil
military boot camp s**t and got my life together. Put in my head what the f**k
I was gone do and made s**t happen.
When I came home, my s**t was boosted, cuz the ni**a Bingo, the ni**a that made the Head Bussa beat the one that came out and got popular, that ni**a was a DJ in the crunkest club on the East-side. So he was smashing my s**t back to back while I was gone. I came home and ni**az was like we some Head Bussas fo real, and like that’s my s**t, it got over to the boot camp s**t and ni**az was like Head Bussa, yeah we heard that s**t. I was like fo sho ni**a, came home and s**t was poppin. I was with some ni**az that thought they were poppin and they wasn’t really poppin, I mean they was poppin, but not fo real. I was goddamn putting in work, swinging on ni**az, like I always been a fightin a** ni**a. Always fighting and some s**t, or I be the ni**a getting jumped on or jumping on other ni**az, we just get down like that. You know we got our dope boys and our fighters and like ni**az know around the muthaf**kin globe if I came to your city, I was always getting into something. Even police know I don’t f**k around with putting your hands on me. A ni**a was born with a temper, and born with some intelligence too, so I know muthaf**kas can’t just be putting they hands on you. I don’t give a f**k if you a fan, muthaf**in police, whoever. BME found me when I was in that fight mode when I was like 18, feel me and that was like two or three years ago. S**t change, cuz I remember when ni**az didn’t know a ni**a. When it was just Atlanta, then I remember when Atlanta didn’t even know a ni**a, it was just a side of town I was on that knew a ni**a. Fame ain’t s**t. I always had fame, people playing on my phone, talking shit all that bulls**t, so I was semi used to it when I came in the game and now I’m used to it.
How did you get Head Bussa to Lil John?
Trillville was already getting ready to come over to BME, I
knew one of the ni**az, LA and I seen him and was like wuz up, what’s going on?
The ni**a was like I rap now, I thought it was funny cuz like the ni**a wasn’t
no rapper. He was a promoter, a ni**a that passed out flyers and sometime he
would throw his parties. I heard his s**t and was like alright whatever, s**t
but my s**t hot in the club right now. Don’t nobody too much know ya’ll s**t,
but ya’ll could get on my shows and we could do it together. We do a song
together for the show and then ya’ll do ya’ll s**t and I’ll do mine. He was
like cool, so I put them on my show they perform first and then I do my s**t. I
just happen to go with them to the studio one night and do a song with them.
Vice and Henry was over there and was like yeah Lil Scrappy, so they was f**kin
with me already but didn’t know who I was. They didn’t know, I was the Head
Bussa ni**a so they was like ok, but I was telling them ya’ll need to f**k with
me, I’m that ni**a. They was like ok whatever. Then they came to my show I was
the headliner and Trillville performed before me at the Aquarium in 2002 or
2003. The club was packed, I mean I used to pack clubs and not even get paid. I
started a chain reaction and it was ni**az that started before me, so I’m just
keeping it moving. Keep the movement going. Next thing you know Trillville go
on and do they thang before Lil John touched it and Atlanta funny. If you ain’t in the club,
Atlanta go crazy off your s**t, if they don’t know you in that bi**h they go
crazy, but when you there and they know you there, they be like yeah ni**a your
s**t crunk, but they will not give you the benefit of jumping off your s**t
while you there. I was hoping they don’t do this s**t to me, Atlanta always rock with me so wuz up. I came
out there and let loose on that bi**h. I ain’t talking like no high school
crowd, half college half high school. I did I Got My Mind Made up, they
damn near had a bar fight in that bi**h. I got my mind made up, with some
liquor in my cup, got a bi**h on my d**k and I’m getting f**ked up, got my back
on the wall, hell yeah I’m gone ball, getting money till I fall, screaming f*8k
all ya’ll. Ni**az that was getting crunk, partying, was getting hit in the head
with a pool stick. Vince came in there with a suit on, I’m like what the f**k
this ni**a doing in the club with a suit on? Then came up out that bi**h when
my s**t came on. Lights, camera, action, it was on in that bi**h, and that’s
when that ni**a said you need to come to BME.
How did the idea of putting both Scrappy & Trillvile together
on the album come about?
“Good marketing scheme. Scrappy is known and we could put
him out, but Trillville got a pop song and we could just blow.
You had a hit
with No Problem how did that come about?
That was all me. I did that by myself in the studio. It was
a crunk reality song, it wasn’t even a fight song. It wasn’t made for ni**az to
fight, I say, you can get crunk in the club, roll wit your hood get stomped in
the club, you get f**ked up in the club, get buck in the club, ni**a we don’t
give a f**k, but you don’t want no problem and I just give it to them, You don’t
wanna be dead in the street, mouth full of blood and your soul full of heat,
why you tryna act hard as hell and you know damn well you don’t wanna feel that
shell. I’m telling ni**az, you don’t want it, but ni**az in the club act like I
told that ni**a to knock that ni**a out.
Q: who worked with you on refining your sound?
Its just creativity my ni**a. I’m a student of the game, and
I listen and be like okkk, he did this but he should of did it like this, so
that’s what I’m gone do.
Q: who are some of your influences?
Everybody really. I listen to everything. When I was lil,
all I listen to was Scarface, Biggie, Pac and Ice cube that’s all my momma
listen to, Three 6 Mafia, all the dope boys listen to. Then growing up I listen
to T.I, Fifty, all the big names Jay-Z, I sit back and just listen.
Q: How did G-Unit and BME come about with the collabo? Lil John with Interscope and Fifty and Warner Bros, this was a monster move.
I’m a real ni**a, and real s**t happens to real people, just like I get into it with the police, I come right back. Get pushed off stage and it come right back. I get hit with a bottle, all my s**t gone, I come right back. I’m a real ni**a, so it’s suppose to happen. I like the ni**az music anyway. Next thing I know I get a phone call from Rambo, like we doing a video for Young Buck this weekend we want you to come down. I’m like all right let’s do it, me and my ni**a hop in the Chevy and drove down that bi**h and we did Let Me In , but I had seen Buck at my album release party, they came thru. Next thing you know we go down to Cashville and they showing us love, Lloyd Banks and G-unit showing us love but I ain’t see Fifty. I’m just thinking like it would be nice to meet this ni**a. I’m from the hood where you don’t see nobody, but I’m here to get my s**t off. When you out there you hope you see a ni**a, but if not I got my money. I just happen to get there one day a ni**a Fifty was just out there, so he doing his thing, I’m gone wait till he finish. I hate when a ni**a come up to you and know you busy, and they tryna take all your time up. Talking about a problem or doing some crazy s**t, and he don’t even know you. I wasn’t gone say nothing but my bodyguard knew his peoples, so he went to see wuz up and then Fifty just pop up outta no where and was like wuz up ni**a? I’m like s**t wuz up, my name Scrappy. He like ni**a I know who you is, Head Bussa, so I was like we need to do something. He was like yeah, but you know that’s just talk or whatever. I go home and I end up with the same shows as Young Buck and them cuz we from the south and one day I run into Mike Lighty who threw me the card and was like give me a call if you interested, I book shows and all that. My brother Chris Lighty owns Violator records and manage Fifty, so I’m like okkk. My manager f**ked me over, took all the money, all of Crime Mob money. I’m fighting to get it back, but at the same time I got this open invitation that this ni**a from Violator said call him. I gave Atlanta some time first. Then I thought about it and my manager was a Atlanta ni**a, so I stop looking in Atlanta and was like I need somebody who ain’t gone be like; I know this ni**a.
I need somebody big out there who if they f**k me over I can get them and really get them. I go f**k with Chris and them and they ain’t got nothing but love, they rich already so Chris say, you ain’t gotta sign nothing. I’m like OKKK. I’m thinking they want me to go pop a ni**a or something, like I ain’t never heard of no shit like this. We have a meeting or whatever, he put me in some fly a** hotel in Manhattan New York, on top of the whole building, I’m like OKKK again. It made me be like this some real s**t, treating me good, got my momma sitting right, I’m like what the f**k you want? Chris says nothing but a hand shake and that’s what it is. Around this time I was still doing shows and I did this show in Pal Attica, Fla. I went showing ni**az love and everything. At first I wasn’t gone do the show but I was like f**k it. When I got there it was a shack, I was like my s**t popping and I’m in a shack. Like some real country shit, even when I wasn’t popping, I wasn’t in no shack. I could see a country club but not a shack. It look like something ni**az just go to drink, they don’t have no shows in this bi**h. I did it anyway. The money wasn’t even long enough I do it anyway, so it’s hating a** ni**az talking s**t. I’m like I could go get in my s**t and get the f**k on and keep it moving. I’m doing this out of love, real ni**a s**t, like when you a real ni**a, you show love. I’m giving ni**az dap and s**t, giving hoes hugs, doing what I’m suppose to do. Next thing I know ni**az throwing bottles and I get hit with the ass end of a Heineken bottle in my mouth. Sitting there eating on that bi**h, gums split open, I’m missing a gum a bone all kind of s**t. They rush me to the van, and next they talking bout, they coming around the corner with guns. I’m like nah; not for real. Thinking what the f**k did I do to these ni**az. I could see if I was at home and got into it with a ni**a or I spit on a ni**a or something, so we get the f**k out of there. I get home and get taking care of. My s**t all split and stitched. I’m laying in the bed for months around Christmas time, baby momma pregnant in her last months, I’m thinking I gotta make some money. Nobody called me. Chris and them called, GsUp ni**az called and that was it. No calls from BME or none of that. Next thing you know I get a phone call from a phone number I ain’t know, but I pick it up anyway. It’s Fifty like wuz up. I can’t hardly talk but I’m like its all good wuz up my ni**a. The s**t made my day. Fifty like I heard what happened, my ni**a, fuck that s**t, just get better. Don’t worry bout it, I’ll put a whole diamond in your mouth, make that s**t shine so bright ni**az won’t be able to see what’s in your mouth just a blinding light. He gave me some encouraging words and that’s what did it, I got up and made it happen. Cuz if not I would have laid there hoping I get better, my birthday was coming up and so I got up. Next thing I told my manager either you bout to make something happen or if this BME thing ain’t bout to go down, you need to make something happen. Ni**az ain’t call me, like I don’t even know if I got a deal. He like nah your deal straight. I was like look I know where bread at, ni**az been treating me good, showing me love, and I look good over there. So they like it might take longer for your album to come out. It’s a chance I have to take. It ain’t came out yet, they can wait. I’ll do mix tapes and get on ni**az s**t. Talk to Fifty Cent about it. He was like me you and Lil John. I’m the biggest name in Hip-Hop and Lil John a big name too. Let’s do it.
BME was like I don’t know. I was
like either we gone make this happen or I’m gone do it. The next thing Lil John
was like, yeah that would be a good idea. Let’s do it. I’m gone do my s**t and
they f**k with me. Fifty cent is already a go, so I’m gone take what I got and
put it out there. I ain’t bout to die. Ni**az ain’t gone leave me in the street
to rot, it ain’t gone happen. I’m gone win. From there Fifty took me on the road
with them. Anger Management tour, and Fifty Cent Massacre tour.
Q: How did the album come about, with two exceptional ears in the business to make hits?
I was kind of nervous about doing it, like I hope
this ni**a like my s**t. At the same time, I’m like f**k that, I got a little
girl to feed, I’m a grown a** man, women know me just like they know him. I
went to the mansion for like two days bugging out. In the studio he was right
there with me, rolling like we was on something and you know Fifty ain’t do
nothing. Come out there, get in the studio with Lil Jon and you know he got
some heat out the a**. Some heat you gotta put that real s**t on. So I go in my
lil hole or whatever, talk to myself about whatever I’m going through. Come
back out and put that magic out there. I’m tryna put myself up there with them
ni**az, so I can be able to stand up with these ni**az and be like, I’m one of
these ni**az. I’m a big name, so then we all have someone to pull from. I can
pull from Fifty, I can pull from Jon, Jon pull from me, both of us pull Fifty,
both of us pull for Jon. It’s a relationship.
Q: who’s on the album?
Fifty did some hooks on there,
Olivia, Tony Yayo, GsUp, which is Pooh Baby, Lil Chris, Bohagen of course. Tryna
get a couple other ni**az but s**t me. It is what it is Born to Live Bred to
Die it’s all about me anyway.
Q: What are
some of the best lessons you’ve learned and how are they gonna apply to your
I’m gone blow up first, and then I’m gone bring
them ni**az out. Whatever I can do, I’m gone do it, put my all into my artists,
cuz for one thing, they mine. I got my stamp on it so they should be out. Crime
Mob gone be out this year coming up. Diamond and Princess coming out. Lil
Scrappy gone keep it moving. That’s what I learned; keep it moving, keep focus
and stay out here. It ain’t no turning down no bread or none of that. It’s all
about getting it right now while I’m here in this lil light of mine, I’m let it
shine for real.
Q: What else are you tryna get
into out side of music to get that bread?
Street shit. I’m gone get me a club in the A, can’t
say no names cuz ni**az might try to take my s**t. Do some movies, some acting.
Keep my mind active and move on it. I hate for a ni**a to say some s**t and it
never happen, but if I speak it into existence it’s gone happen.
Q: What advice do you have for
those tryna come up?
Don’t step on nobody toes, unless they make you, keep your head up. It may rain at night time, but when you wake up, it’s always a lil sunlight. Take your sunlight holes and swoop up in them. Have a good day, a good life, year and get to it, don’t stop.
Lil Scrappy has 3 Million followers on Instagram and 845 K followers on Twitter. His wife Bambi has 2.5 M followers on Instagram and 264 K followers on Twitter. The other mother of his child Erica Dixon has 2.9 M followers on Instagram and 885 K followers on Twitter. Instagram is a huge money generator for Facebook. A huge portion of the content that generates the eyeballs on Instagram in urban and hip-hop related. Shows like Love and Hip-Hop drive the discussion and power the engagement on the social media platforms. Instagram is projected to earn $14 Billion in revenue in 2019. Twitter just reported Q3 2019 earnings of $824 million. Nielsen just released a report on Black consumers in the USA. In the report they identified over 25 million African Americans are Millennials. Instagram reaches 45% of African Americans. African Americans are more receptive to television advertising by 23% over total population. This correlates to the impact of shows like Love and Hip-Hop and how consumers engage on social media and amplify the impact of their conversation.
“Everyday he was hustling” and on his road to riches he had to speak with us at Hustlenomics to certify the incredible story of his success. We were at his launch party in Miami for his debut album Port of Miami. There were Rolls Royce’s outside and Jay-Z was in the building among others. You could see the makings of the Belaire, and Ace of Spades partnerships (all brands owned by Sovereign Brands), and D’USSÉ which Sovereign Brands developed and sold to Bacardi. This was only the beginning of Rick Ross’s empire building which has now expanded to a liquor line, a record label, ownership of several wingstop franchises, and so much more including his acquisition of Evander Holyfield’s mansion which we featured exclusively in sister publication Owners Illustrated Magazine.
Wole Idowu & the Betterville Mavens. A group of Washington DC & PG County Students He mentors and teaches coding
Students from Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School in DC School to participate in a coding and VR Technology Experience at the Washington Auto Show hosted by Owners Illustrated magazine and Toyz Electronics founders.
Washington, DC –Owners Illustrated magazine, a leading urban entrepreneurial lifestyle publication, and Toyz Electronics, LLC, a Carnegie Mellon University startup, will partner to bring an engaging coding and creative technology training for DC Public School students to the Washington Auto Show on January 25th, 2018.
Damola Idowu and son Wole Idowu, a native of Washington, DC, believe that the future of technology is in the hands of DC Public School students today. Of his approach, Damola Idowu states, “Many jobs in the auto industry require coding. Early exposure will be critical to training the workforce of the future. I’m thrilled to be bringing this to the DC Auto Show.”
Damola, a Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) member, has now partnered with the Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School in DC to empower DC students to get into technology fields and become part of the auto industry in the future. Of the collaboration, Amy Quinn, Director of Teaching and Learning at the Yu Ying public charter school said, “We look forward to this collaboration and future collaborations with Mr. Idowu.”
Wole organizes Innovation Conferences held at Carnegie Mellon University each semester and Miguel Richardson, the music producer who leads the music production portion of these events, will be on hand to engage the students in music technology. Wole will teach the students to code for VR and an Android smart watch called the TZN1 that he is developing on the Carnegie Mellon Campus.
The TZN1 will also play a large role in teaching the students coding as part of a mobile driving game. Students will take pictures using the TZN1 watches and be able to learn a line of code and share the pictures. Wole Idowu states, “I hope to bring a great session at the Auto Show to showcase and for the students at Yu Ying to learn from, grow, and develop their skills to become excellent developers, leaders, and innovators of the future.”
On January 26th through February 4th, multiple VR stations will be set up on the show floor. Additionally, there will be a gaming section where attendees of the Auto Show can play driving focused video games.
Founder and Editor in Chief, Damola Idowu, created Owners Illustrated magazine in the District of Columbia in 2002. He is bringing a proven formula that helped his son, Wole, graduate high school and be featured on CNBC at age 15. Wole, who he raised in Ward 8 DC, started school at age 4 at the World Public Charter School in their Mandarin immersion program and was exposed to technology at an early age. He graduated in 2017 from Carnegie Mellon University with an Electrical and Computer Engineering Degree.
The Toyz Watch is a smartwatch from Toyz Electronics, an official Carnegie Mellon University startup. It runs on full Android 5.1, has video, music, phone, and gaming capabilities, and has already been used in medical research by some institutions.
At hackathons hosted at Carnegie Mellon, students have been able to utilize the smartwatch to develop applications in health, wellness and gaming. With the watch students from all backgrounds, skill levels, ethnicities, universities, genders, and fields of study were engaged and able learn to develop on a wearable platform utilizing our smartwatch, making them developers in the growing wearable community.
The Toyz Watch is currently on sale at $300! at a limited Beta Edition for Developers and Early Adopters who want to get a feel for Full Android Running on a Smartwatch
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