Words By: @Reemisitswe
Up until this point, the definition of music entrepreneurship has centred around, more often than not, how urban artists have leveraged their appeal and influence to attract bigger and better campaign work from corporates and brands. But is this true to the definition?
Answer: No. It’s actually, far from it. For what reason(s) you may ask? Well… Let’s begin by first being on the same page about the actual definition of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is defined as “the activity of (1) setting up a business or businesses, (2) taking on financial risks in the (3) hope of profit (Oxford Dictionary, 2017)”.
So from this definition, we can deduce that music entrepreneurship can be defined as “setting up MUSIC-BASED business or businesses, taking on financial risks, of setting up the said MUSIC-BASED business or businesses, in the hope of profit (Skinny Genes TV, 2017)”.
With this framework in place, where does this leave the said expression of urban artists’ ability to attract bigger and better campaign work as claimed music entrepreneurship? It actually all urban artists claims to be music entrepreneurs as false and not founded at all. Why?
As outlined by the definition, firstly, most of them are not setting up businesses or at the very initiating partnerships with brand outside of sponsor my event then I will promote your brand. Secondly, most urban artists are not willing to bet on themselves or even simpler, invest behind themselves, whether it be getting a professional photographer to capture their snaps or even setup a basic static website. And lastly, most urban artists are not taking part in any profit garnered from the campaign work they are associated to.
My apologies if I have taken your favourite artist off the pedestal you used to place him along other respected entrepreneurs. I didn’t mean to but facts are FACTS! He just ain’t that dude. Accept it. It doesn’t take anything away from them as a cool artist.
Now, that we have cleared that up… Let’s move on this upper echelon breed of urban artist who without question embody what it means to be a music entrepreneurs.
The 3 leaders in music entrepreneurship without question are, in no particular order…
Puff Daddy: Most probably the most serial of the three personalities, Sean “P Diddy” Combs used his music career to launch Sean John clothing and fragrance lines. Further to that he launched a production company that brought us the MTV Show Making the Band. Following that, he ventured into the alcohol industry by buying a stake into then struggling French vodka brand Ciroc Vodka, which has since become one of the biggest vodka brands in the world. He has since launched tequila brand Deleon. His biggest venture to date has been his tenure into being a media house when he launched Revolt TV which since launch has become the biggest online urban content platform in the world.
Jay-Z: The only mogul on the list with more platinum selling albums (13 to be exact) and most likely the only music entrepreneur who can give Puff Daddy a run for his money, literally! He was one of the first urban moguls to also launch a clothing range linked to the record label called Roca Wear, which like its Sean John counterpart, spurred more artists venture into launching their own clothing labels following the tremendous success of Jay-Z’s collaboration venture with Reebok RBK He has since gone to establish himself as a music mogul through the launch of his bar restaurant called the 40/40 Club, which now calls Brooklyn Nets basketball arena it’s home, which he also has a minority stake in. But his biggest venture to date has been his acquisition of online streaming service Aspiro to relaunch it as artist owned music owned subscription service Tidal. Tidal now is the second biggest streaming service only behind Apple Music in terms of listenership.
50 Cent: He is probably the most diverse of the three serial entrepreneurs. Following the ridiculous success that was his debut album, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, Fif’ has successfully launched what is now known as Coca Cola acquired; Vitamin Water. Further to that, he also has a line of dildos made in the line of his fallace. He like Jay-Z and Puff Daddy, launched a clothing range called G-Unit. His biggest tenure and venture has been his transition from music maker to music based story teller through the launch of his production company that has released several TV and film releases, with Power being the most recent and biggest success to date.
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