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Startup Advice from Hip Hop Entrepreneurs

Updated: May 3, 2018

By: Justin Donnini

“These artists have shaped the music industry, but have also reinvented the way we build influence, create startups and scale businesses.”

The other day I saw a headline that read “3 Startup Lessons from Hip Hop Entrepreneurs” It offered insight from 3 entrepreneurs whom I highly regard. Naturally I had to click.

The first artist was Nipsey Hussle, I’ve been a fan of his art for sometime, but it wasn’t until recently I found out about his entrepreneurial ventures.

In an interview Nipsey was asked about cryptocurrency, to which he said he was actively investing & following. At that time I was just beginning my journey into cryptocurrency so that really peaked my interest.

I did more research regarding his entrepreneurial ventures & discovered he recently founded Vector90. An inner city collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs, better known as an incubator.

Ultimately he believes in betting on yourself. His business ventures clearly show that it’s much more than a mindset, it's a lifestyle. Living as such enables you to identify opportunity, take calculated risk & strategic action.

The second artist Jay-Z, believes in building your brand through collaboration. He built his empire through relentless networking & what I call ‘shark tactics’. When he wasn’t accepted by a major label Jay-Z created his own. He sold albums on the street & out of the trunk of his car. He would record & sleep inside studios. His relentless networking allowed him to open for huge artists. All of this helped launch his career to what it is today, the wealthiest rapper in hip hop. ($900M net worth)

Certainly last but not least was Dr. Dre. His message: leverage yourself.

As stated in the article “he had a choice to make in terms of work.” He chose to follow his passion & intuitions. That led to the creation of N.W.A. & the disruption of an industry. They became some of the strongest influencers of their generation. They leveraged their stardom by constant sold out shows throughout the world & millions of copies sold.

In the 'Aftermath' of N.W.A. Dr. Dre started his own label. After a decade of successful operations with Aftermath, he was approached by Jimmy Iovine to use his leverage as a superstar to create a hardware company that would create headsets & headphones. In 2017 ‘Beats by Dre’ sold to Apple for $3 billion.

While I think this is an informative article, I see it as an affirmation.

At Top Group Media we take on projects that are by-products of our passions. Essentially we love what we do because we only do what we love. This has profound effects on our decision making which is key to creating extraordinary work. Our day to day operations are in an incubator environment; this promotes constant collaboration & co creation which helps us operate at our optimal efficiency. Our services as a videography marketing firm allow us to leverage yourself in your market & tell your story.


Entrepreneur: a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so

Cryptocurrency: a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank

Incubator: a collaborative space to nurture creativity, co creation & business ventures

Betting on yourself: believing in yourself enough to pursue your passions

Collaboration: the action of working with someone to produce or create something

Shark tactics: strategic/unique marketing tactics in order to improve your standing

Leverage yourself: using your influence to make an impact/further your reach

Disruption of an industry: creating a new service or product that creates major change or improvements to an industry.

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