Sitting in the office Tuesday, watching the team work on a new project and I had a thought:
I wonder if rappers would trade their chains in for freedom.
So, I sent the follow tweet.
I wonder if rappers would trade in their chain for equity in a dope Hip Hop tech startup? @JColeNC @Nas @KillerMikeGTO @Wale @THEREALBANNER?
— Justin Dawkins (@jdawkinsatl) December 9, 2014
Soon after I got a few text messages from people asking me to clarify what I meant so I thought I’d take a few moments to be a bit more specific.
Now this subject has been covered several times, and from various angles, so some of what I’m saying here won’t be new. Nonetheless please take a moment to continue reading and let me know what you think in the comments. Here we go.
Wale talks about the power of “chains” in Chain Music, and J Cole shares his sentiments in Chaining Day. Now they’re not the only hooks, verses or songs that talk about the power of chains but I believe they’re some of the most recent so we’ll start the conversation here.
According to my records (as an example) JCole’s chain cost as much as a car. Now I’m not the type of person to be in another man’s pockets but I know that we’re talking about 5 figures or more. Now here’s where things get interesting. We just read about Kim Kardashian essentially doubling her net worth with a mobile game, and Carmelo Anthony starting a VC firm (and making some great initial investments) as he shoots jump shots for checks. So I have to ask. If a rapper is willing to spend 50K on a chain, would he be willing to spend the same amount on a young scrappy startup? I have to believe that Nas and TI aren’t the only ones. Yes, I know Floyd Mayweather is investing with Justin Bieber and Hammer is working closely with Andreessen Horowitz (along with Nas), but those aren’t the entertainers I referring to. I’m talking about the next generation of rappers, you know the Rich Homie Quans, Wales, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and J.Cole’s of the World.
For far too long now we’ve seen artist money come and go as fast as their latest single. I’m not saying that in a mean or crass way but at the speed of the internet and music, ones relevance is fleeting as the first tick of the metronome. To complicate matters there seems to be a an agenda to enslave our young black men, or worse kill them. When this happens, everyone goes into the streets to protest and march, but NO ONE, at least from my vantage point is coming up with a plan to solve some of these problems. This is the opportunity we have and we must take advantage of it. Instead of that 50K chain, find and invest (smaller amounts even) in young talented engineers and own a piece of this story and reshape the narrative. If the revolution is to be televised it’s going to require a plan and a channel (thanks Diddy). There’s more to do.
Entertainers, athletes or anyone who needs help understanding how this whole investment things works, give me a shout. I’ll share all that I know as I don’t want anyone making investments ill-informed. Before you call though, ask yourself: Are you willing to shed your chain for a free future?
Now back to J.Cole’s Fire Squad
P.S. – Shameless plug – We have one of the best digital marketing consultancies and development teams in the Southeast (down to the kernel), possibly even the country… and we just so happen to be all black.
Adonica L. Jones
Good question! As I grow in my entrepreneurship, I understand the basis for your question. I’m curious to see what your response will be.
Great write up bro! Extension of the many convos we have had!
Absolutely! I look forward to validating or invalidating my hypothesis over the next few months! Going to be a interesting ride!