Ice T Premieres ‘Art Of Rap’ Documentary In New York

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Ice T premiered his anticipated documentary “Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap” at Lincoln Center, in New York City on Wednesday night, hosting guests like Fabolous, Busta Rhymes, DJ Khaled and MTV New correspondent, Sway Calloway. Ice introduced the film by giving some background on his vision, explaining the importance of the ‘craft’ of hip-hop and telling the crowd, “Sorry if I’m talking too much, this is like the most exciting night of my life.” Ice continued celebrating his directorial debut with an afterparty at Highline Ballroom, with performances from Rakim, Chuck D. More about the film after the jump.

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Can Rap Lyrics Teach Us About Business?

Rap News, Hip Hop News - GUTTA WORLD


Date: Thursday – February 23, 2012

Hip hop artists love flaunting their money – but can they teach us anything about how to make it?

Ben Horowitz, a leading Silicon Valley venture capitalist, certainly thinks so. He told the BBC World Service how listening to rap music had helped him to make critical business decisions.

“It’s mostly what I listen to, but it also turns out to be very relevant to business, in terms of the issues that come up.

“A lot of it is about business and about competition. A lot of it is about feelings, about how something might make you feel.”

Mr Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, which has made a fortune from investments in firms such as Groupon and Skype, said that when it came to big strategic decisions feeling can be more important than logical thought.

“For me to have a whole class of music that really helped me articulate all that in my mind, and then articulate in my writing, as well has been a big deal,” he said.

Adam Bradley, associate professor of African American literature at the University of Colorado, also believes rap contains lessons in charismatic leadership they don’t teach in business school.

“Rap presents an immediate test. If you get up on the stage and your are whack, you are going to get booed off. You have to present yourself in the moment and you have to move the crowd. I think there is a lesson there in leadership because it’s about creating pathways of connection,” he says.

Conspicuous consumption is part of hip-hop culture
“It’s not only to do with what you want them to do, but what they want to do but may not know it yet.”

Rap also offers lessons in “self-presentation” for the aspiring business mogul, argues Bradley, who advises major corporations on black culture and music.

So what are the set texts from the hip hop business school – and what can they teach us?

It’s All About The Deal

I take quarter water sold it in bottles for two bucks, Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions, what the [expletive] ? – I Get Money, 50 Cent

Curtis “50 cent” Jackson is known as one of hip hop’s sharpest business operators. In I Get Money, from his second album, he boasts about a deal with Coca-Cola, who paid $4.1bn for Glaceau, a vitamin water company he had taken a 10% stake in through an investment vehicle.

The deal is said to have landed Jackson between $60m and $100m, putting his net worth at close to $0.5bn. “Quarter water” is a reference to the small plastic bottles of flavoured water Jackson and his friends used buy for 25 cents when they were children in the New York ghetto.

The rapper, whose debut album was entitled Get Rich Or Die Trying, is currently at the the centre of controversy over a share tip he gave to his 3.8 million followers on Twitter, in a company in which he is an investor and shareholder.

Work Hard And What Your Costs

Get your money right, be an international player, don’t be scared to catch those red-eye flights / You better get your money right, ’cause when you out there on the streets, you gotta get it – get it – Get Your Money Right, Dr Dre

Another noted hip hop entrepreneur, Andre “Dr Dre” Young, is third in Forbes magazines list of wealthiest rappers, with an estimated net worth of $250m. He added an estimated $175m to his fortune in 2011 with the sale of a 50% stake in headphone company Beats Electronic.

In 2007′s Get Your Money Right, Dr Dre joins forces with Jay-Z, whose $450m empire includes restaurants, fashion, music and a share in the New Jersey Nets basketball team, to give what amounts to a seminar in how to start a small business (once you have stripped out the expletives and drug references).

“Don’t be worried ’bout the next man – make sure your business tight,” the pair advise, before adding, in a crucial lesson for all would-be entrepreneurs: “If you ain’t in it for the money then get out the game.”

Be Your Own Boss

I can’t let life get the best of me, I gotta take, take control of my own destiny / Control what I hold and of course be the boss of myself / No-one else will bring my wealth – A Job Ain’t Nothing But Work, Big Daddy Kane

“When hip hop was born, it was born with that sense of being ‘on the hustle’ or ‘on the grind,’” says Bradley, author of Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop.

“Part of it comes from an underworld parlance, an underground parlance, of criminal enterprises, selling drugs.

“You could be working a block selling drugs, but extrapolate it and it means working hard. It means labour, a commitment to a work ethic, and that sense of struggle.”

Founders Make Better Chief Executives

You’re just a rent-a-rapper, your rhymes are Minute Maid / I’ll be here when it fade to watch you flip like a renegade – Follow the Leader, Rakim

“The interesting thing about Rakim, in addition to being the first great rapper, he was kind of a founder of rap music,” says Ben Horowitz.

“When rap music started it was kind of like a start-up music genre and it wasn’t clear at all that it was going to succeed.”

Rakim’s message to those who were jumping on the rap bandwagon, but did not really believe it had a future, struck a chord with the venture capitalist.

“It was like that’s the difference between the founding CEO and the professional CEO. The professional is often just there to make money but he is not there for the movement, he is not there for the mission… in the way that the founder is and you see that in business all the time.”

Never Show Weakness

I’m runnin’ the buildin’, don’t make me run in the buildin’ / No this ain’t the first time I had my gun in the buildin’ – Scream On Em, The Game

“If you just want pure, unadulterated swagger to come pouring out of you, there is no better soundtrack than hip hop – whether you are going out on to the sporting field, or going into the boardroom,” says Adam Bradley.

“Hip hop is a soundtrack for aggression. It is music created mostly by young men and consumed mostly by young men.”

Ben Horowitz told the New York Times he sent the “superaggressive” lyrics of Scream on Em, by The Game, to an executive he felt was being too deferential and needed to show more strength.

Rakim to Release New Album, “The Seventh Seal”

Posted: Tuesday – October 13, 2009

It’s been nearly 10 years since Rakim dropped his last album, ‘The Master,’ but now his long-awaited return is finally upon us.

The god Rakim Allah will finally be releasing his aptly titled seventh album, ‘The Seventh Seal,’ on November 17, via his own label, Ra Records. Two songs from the set can be found streaming on the rapper’s MySpace page, ‘Holy Are You’ and the newly added ‘Walk These Streets,’ featuring Brooklyn rapper Maino,

“I’m the tsunami of rap,” Rakim said about the album in a recent interview with AllHipHop. “I’m going to shut it down and we’ll start all over from the top. It’s time to take it to the next level. Everybody is doing the same thing, we gotta keep evolving. ‘Seventh Seal’ is an option for those who want to change what they’re doing, or trying to better themselves. It’s not too much about Rakim, and more the listener. It’s definitely for the youth, but I’m an old dude and got something for the old heads as well.”

Rakim headlined Atlanta’s A3C festival at the end of September and is scheduled to support the release of ‘The Seventh Seal’ with a month of tour dates kicking off October 25 in San Francisco.

Many blame Rakim’s 10-year absence on his prior label, Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records, which has a history of delaying and shelving releases. When asked if Ra was simply awaiting the perfect moment to make his return, he said”It was more with the label thing…I wanted to get my business straight. I got my own label now [Ra Records], so there’s no better time than the present.”

In keeping with the tsunami theme, Ra claims that his album will bring about a whirlwind of change, returning socially conscious hip hop to the forefront.”At this point, from what we’ve been going through and what we’ve been listening to, I think people are ready to change it up. You can only shoot somebody so many ways. You can only sell so many ki’s of coke. You can only buy so many cars. I think it’s getting to a point where Hip-Hop isn’t going to have a choice but to change its lyrical content”
‘The Seventh Seal’ is in stores November 17, and features Maino, The Lox, Busta Rhymes and Rakim’s daughter, Destiny Griffin.

Source: Hiphophavoc



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