“As my world turns, the heart beats
Not only in my chest, but the heart in the streets
So when they feel this, they feel me
But I can’t feel nothin’, outside these Dre Beats”
– Machine Gun Kelly (“Invincible”)
Clothing, sneakers, alcohol, and now headphones. These are the business endeavors your favorite artists partake in until they go out of style or don’t seem profitable anymore.
When’s the last time you’ve seen a rapper wear a football jersey in a music video? I’ll wait…
It’s amazing how one Jay-Z line in his Pharrell-assisted song “Change Closes” ultimately changed how the entire hip-hop culture dress.
“Jiggy this is probably purple label
Or that BBC or it’s probably tailored
But y’all niggas acting way to tough
Throw on a suit get it tapered up”
– Jay-Z (“Change Clothes”)
I think the only person who was happy with this line was David Stern, but that’s another story. Once the clothes were done, hip-hop moved to alcohol. The owner of the Jay-Z favorite, Cristal, asked rappers to stop drinking his champagne, dumbass, so Jay-Z brought his troops over to the world of Ace of Spade. Additionally, Ludacris came out with Conjure, and Diddy gave us the ever-popular Ciroc. We’re not done yet people!
Besides money, cars, and woman, what else do rappers ACTUALLY need to make a living? Headphones, duh! When Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovien founded Beats by Dre in 2008, nobody imagined the impact it would have. Four years later, Dre’s product is featured in Chrysler vehicles, HP laptops, HTC cell phones, and every electronic store in the country – and generating of $500 million (in 2011); half of the revenue of the $1 billion industry. Of course other artists took notice of the doctors success and knew they wanted in. Superstars, Diddy, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber all partnered with Beats by Dre for their own line of headphones in the company.
But that’s not all. Since the launch of Beats by Dre, we now see Ludacris (Soul), 50 Cent (SMS), RZA (Chambers), and Daddy Yankee (Section8) joining the industry. I’m all for new music products, and yes hip-hop has become the driving force behind most consumer products, but why do we all need to launch the same product at the same time!!! Sound isn’t being manipulated in so many ways that each product is completely different from each other.
Music is about being creative and that is definitely what is lacking these days. Step it up people and lets come out with something new!
Update: Business Insider shows us which headphones your favorite DJ uses