Whether you like the music or not is irrelevant to this article. Hip Hop is one of the most powerful and now commercial music forms in the world and whilst other urban music, trends in and then fades out to the underground, Hip Hop is the only one to pretty much stay in the lime light and evolve. Is it a good evolution? That’s debatable but it is a social, musical and cultural powerhouse of a business and here’s 5 lessons your business can learn from Hip Hop:
1.Use a Contract:
Practically every internationally Hip Hop group splits up due to contractual discrepancies. Who’s owed money and who’s actually taking money? Its as much as a problem in the music business as it is with mine or yours.
Hip Hop Lesson : Get your paper right!
2. Expand with sub brands
International rap stars sub-brand themselves by creating a supporting rap group. Essentially their using newly established personal brand power to sell an additional product and expand their income with minimal investment.
Have you harnessed the possibility of a sub brand for your business?
Hip Hop Lesson: Double Up!
3. Keep working
Back in the day, an album would be released every 3 years or so however the evolution has shown that the most successful artists are those who release albums and music more regularly and often. Whether it’s a small un-famed side project, a gimmicky sub-brand or even a fresh cameo, to continue working regardless of circumstances can reap all kinds of rewards. Working on smaller side projects is just a form of on-going marketing, A/B split testing but in lamens terms its just a case of keeping your name in the limelight.
Hip Hop Lesson: Stay on the grind!
The musical world relies heavily on outsourcing whether it be backing vocals, musicians, samples, beats or even lyrics. It may seem deceptive or out of character as an artist but business wise it could just be seen as being more creative, clever and productive. Outsourcing is a way to a means so as a business don’t be put off by it, embrace it.
Hip Hop Lesson: Outsource and keep it on the down low! (nobody has to know)
5. Compete or Collaborate
Hip Hop itself derives from a genre were disputes, egos and competition are in the DNA. In the past these disputes could make or break an artist but evidence has shown that better, longstanding results are achieved when rappers collaborate instead. Today it’s become more profitable and powerful for competing musicians to unite and work together on music projects as oppose to against each other. Maybe theres no need to beat the competition, you can join them instead. It is afterall what most businesses do when they get to a certain size.
Hip Hop Lesson: (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) C.R.E.A.M.
Can a defamatory, degrading, violent and sexist music form really be so popular and should it really teach a business lesson? We can open a big can of worms here but Hip Hop is music, and like all music and media it’s an artform which in turn is sellable and then becomes a business. You don’t have to like it personally but as a business Hip Hop is 40 years strong so maybe business wise theirs something we can learn from it regardless.
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