Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 11 - Celebrating Hip Hop History 2013 - Ya Can't Knock Tha Hustle

Whassup Peeps?

I hope you're enjoying and learning as much about Hip Hop History month as I am. Today we're going to touch on Street Entrepreneurialism. According to The Gospel of Hip Hop, Street Entrepreneurialism is "the study and application of fair trade and Hip Hop business management." 

It goes on to say "Street Entrepreneurialism...focuses on the Spirit to be self-employed, inventive, creative, and self-educated. It is this Spirit; the Spirit of self-creation, the urge to create and sell one's own talents, discoveries and inventions that is encouraged by these teachings." 

There are countless examples of people like this in the music business including Russell Simmons, Master P, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Luther Campbell (aka Uncle Luke or Luke Skyywalker), Ludacris, Too Short, etc. We can also include clothing companies like Ecko Unlimited and FUBU. 


Mello Melanin, Eddie Meeks, Jon Doe aka Prophetix
Photo courtesy of

I remember my early years of trying to break into the music business in the late 80's and early 90's. I was in several groups and it was very difficult for us to get a record deal. We made countless demos, performed in the same amount of talent shows and dealt with rejection over and over. We eventually decided to form our own company called Asylum Entertainment to produce and sell our own recordings. 

In this Spirit of Street Entrepreneurialism, we were forced to learn the music business not only as artist but as businessmen too. It was not all glorious. We got jerked on our very first project but we learned from it and kept going. We found some investors and pressed up some vinyl records, CD's and tapes and begin to sell them as Too Short would say "Out da trunk". 

This method of doing business allowed us to travel to places and perform with artists we would've most like never have performed with such at KRS-ONE, The Roots, and Talib Kweli. As a matter of fact, Ludacris (who also demonstrated Street Entrepreneurialism), was the FIRST Deejay to play our vinyl record on live radio when he had his Future Flavas show on Hot 97.5 in Atlanta, GA. He was known as Chris Lova Lova back then and his co-host was Poon Daddy (who is still part of his Distrubing Tha Peace camp to this day). 

Ludacris (formally known as Chris Lova Lova) and Poon Daddy
Photo by Rolling Out Magazine


The list can go on for eternity of hustler and self-starters. It is the Spirit of these Hiphoppas that make them Hip Hop! 


If you're interested in learning more about The Gospel of Hip Hop, The Temple of Hip Hop, and Hip Hop's elements, check out the link below at


Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin
The Rap Beat Creator, Emcee, and Hip Hop Scholar

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