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Book Of The Week: Own Your Words: The Importance Of Ownership and Entrepreneurship Within Hip-Hop

Book Title: Own Your Words: The Importance of Ownership & Entrepreneurship within Hip-Hop

Author: Rory C. Morgan

Genre: Self-help, Business, Entrepreneurship, Music

Review: 4.5/5

It is clear that to have control of your career as a Hip Hop artist you must foster ownership over several income-generating streams

Main points of the book:

1- Entrepreneurs have the courage and self-belief to turn dreams into reality articulating freedom in spirit, creativity, and vision

2- The most important part of building any personal brand is to be authentic or genuine

3- The structure of major and independent labels affects the amount of ownership the artist has over their creative control

4- Respect has never been given but demanded by Hip-Hop artists

5- Social media allows direct communication with millions of consumers creating a power shift from the major media corporations to the artist


This book is written by Rory C Morgan, a rapper, a songwriter, an author, and an entrepreneur. This book contains 10 chapters, each chapter focusing on value, concept, and importance of entrepreneurship in Hip-Hop music.


Entrepreneurship is multidimensional. He first describes what entrepreneurship is and the responsibilities and risks taken by an entrepreneur. Authenticity is crucial in Hip-Hop and rap music. As the lyrics will determine the personality of the rapper. Not many people consider rap music as authentic, some consider it as criminally provocative. Rap music has always reflected the stories of the underprivileged, focusing majorly on Blacks. Rap music still continues to influence the world. The blacks have always faced injustices as compared to whites in racial discrimination and in the employment industry. They are last to get hired and easily fired. They have no prospects in Job promotion. Unemployment and poverty among black teenagers and adults have always been on the rise since history.

Sylvia Robinson was the first successful entrepreneur whose music received mainstream attention. The famous rap group of Run (Joseph Simmons), DMC (Darryl McDaniels) and Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell) revolutionized the rap music. They were the first Hip-Hop artists to have entered an endorsement deal with a major corporation. The white audience also appreciated and listened to their music. They were signed by the German sportswear company but lacked the much-needed aspect of ownership. These mistakes served as lessons that needed to be learned for Hip-Hop entrepreneurs who were planning to enter into Hip-Hop music.

Jay-Z faced many challenges in becoming a rap star. After rejected by many record labels, he established his own record company. He signed an early business deal with Def Jam recording and became partners. In this deal, Jay Z was able to sell his record label as a brand. Because of his good entrepreneurship skills, Jay Z was able to endorse and sponsor deals from major companies such as Samsung Galaxy, Hublot, Reebok, Budweiser, Barack Obama, and Brooklyn Nets. The writer further educates how much ownership of the artist is important in business and entrepreneurship.

Artists in Hip Hop often face bad business deals due to having a lack of entrepreneurship skills. The independent labels affect the ownership of the artists. The artists in turn receive a low percentage. Because the record labels control various rights including, publishing and manufacturing. Ever since the introduction of the internet, the distribution costs have been lessened, yet artists still receive smaller percentages from the record labels. Streaming, Downloads, and monthly subscriptions have also benefitted artists. Entrepreneurs such as Jay Z took advantage of the online market by creating his streaming service. Social media has created many opportunities for the artists and connection to the fans and listeners.


This book is very nice and easy to read with perfect examples of famous black artists in entrepreneurship, music, and ownership. To have control of your career as a Hip Hop artist, one must foster ownership over several income-generating streams. You can find this book on Amazon.

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