Saturday, November 14, 2009

Public Owned Rappers Vs. Private Owned Rappers

This particular blog post is inspired by the brewing feud between Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter. These two men are not only heavyweights in music, but in the business world period. Both have graced the covers and been mentioned in influential business publications such as Forbes, Fortune, and Black Enterprise. The possibility of a "battle" between these two moguls is an interesting and relevant discussion for the business world to have due to, in my opinion, that these men represent a battle between private and public companies.
In one corner of the ring, there is Shawn Carter, with an estimated 900 million dollar net worth, according to him, he runs and owns 16 different companies including holdings in the New Jersey Nets, a night club, hotels, and a world renowned clothing line. In addition he is considered one of the best, if not the best emcee, perhaps musician of our time. In my opinion he represents the public conglomerate companies. I get the feeling that he is a figure head for a massive movement that has been around longer than he has. There are perhaps people way more powerful than him behind the scenes that have a superbly large vested interest in Shawn's success and that is partially the reason why Jay has enjoyed as much success as he has. There you have it, the investor owned brand Jay-Z.
On the other side of the ring, you have 50 Cent, the bionic business machine with an estimated 400 million dollar net worth. Curtis Jackson has diversified his brand into clothing, film, beverages, books, and a social networking site that rivals myspace and facebook. 50 Cent has thrived off a career of warfare from the block to the boardroom and his presence is felt in all of music. He is self made, plays by his own rules, and is accountable pretty much only to himself (maybe Jimmy Lovine too). With that said, he is the representation of the private company with as much power as the public companies. Part of the reason he is just as powerful as the public players is that he has a severe competitive advantage. His business acumen and strategic mind is unparalleled, plus you get the impression that this guy does not sleep.
There you have it, the two biggest giants in the hip hop business world. Who do you think will win if the guns come out the holsters? 50 Cent himself said that if battle were to occur between these two, one of them probably one not survive it. Whether he is talking about it being career ending or life ending, I'm not sure. I think he meant both because the stakes would be so high if these two titans clashed. Let me know your thoughts.

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