The following is a guest post from my good friend, Albert the Student Loan CPA. You can read his work on Student loans here.
This is the question that every Hip-Hop fan wants answered, right? The guy has been around from the 90’s, but is still making lots of money. He makes very little from music, but is often on Hip Hop’s top 10 earners list. So what’s the answer? You guessed it…Marketing. Derrick already mentioned that according to “The Education of Millionaires”, marketing matters most. This article is an illustration.
If you are under the age of 40, you know who Sean Combs is. He called himself Puff Daddy, then P. Diddy. He produced Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Notorious B.I.G. and MA$E. The latter two were on his Bad Boy Record Label which is now part Bad Boy Enterprises, a company that does various things including producing Reality TV shows, fashion, and….yep…Marketing. He also called himself CIROQ OBAMA when Barack Obama first ran for president. Yes, he has the exclusive license to distribute CIROQ in the U.S.
What all these things show are his marketing skills.
Diddy was not a great producer. I mean, he was a pioneer in Hip Hop Cool, but not so much as a musician in my opinion. Think about it. What would B.I.G. be without the 80’s samples that he rapped over? Just another rapper, most likely – in an era where some of the “worst” rappers (by any standard) went platinum. The guy put things together more than he built things from scratch. Sounds a lot like Steve Jobs, right? He clearly isn’t the most innovative rapper, singer, dancer, or even fashion designer – but we know if he likes something, it’s good.
I became more aware of Diddy’s power when he became the brand manager for Rick Ross. I asked myself – why would he suddenly do that? They were friends for years and never did much business beyond Ross’s appearance on albums of his artists.
I found my answer on Youtube. Watch the following video by Rick Ross. What is he drinking? CIROQ.
Diced Pineapples – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb6HZa151s8
What about this video?
So Sophisticated – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz2K2Rjd7rQ
Or this one?
Okay….why is Young Jeezy now talking about drinking CIROQ? Literally…the chorus has him loudly and clearly saying CIROQ. I remember when Jeezy first came out, and he was talking about a bunch of other drinks. Now it’s CIROQ and always CIROQ. By the way, Young Jeezy first did business with Diddy when he joined a rap group called Boyz N Da Hood. BNDH is another example of Diddy putting something together – and Jeezy only had a one-album deal with the group, after which he left.
During the time of CIROQ OBAMA in 2008, Diddy made lots of videos on Youtube talking about the “youth”. People commented that he was crazy. They all made fun of him for being almost 40 and “thinking he is a kid”. Some even said he should grow up.
They were all missing the point.
Diddy’s business seems to be knowing what young people think and what they care about. Does he genuinely like Barack Obama? Maybe. But he wasn’t wrong in thinking that the youth wanted “Change”, now was he?
I use Diddy as an example, because he started with music but changed. All throughout Hip-Hop you see this – everyone starts with an album and ends up marketing lots of other things that make them much more money. Most people think that you should do something you love; but I’m beginning to think that if you want to be wealthy you should do something you can market.
In the pursuit of wealth it won’t matter what you can do unless you can sell it. If not, you’ll need someone like Diddy to sell it for you and they are not cheap!