kottke.org posts about Ben Horowitz

Rap music business lessonsFeb 21 2012

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ben Horowitz frequently turns to rap music for business wisdom.

Much of rap is about business, whether the drug business, the music industry or work ethic, said Adam Bradley, an associate professor specializing in African-American literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder who wrote "Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop" and co-edited "The Anthology of Rap."

"It comes out of the fact that rap is such a direct mode of expression, maybe more so than any other music lyric, because of the emphasis on language, of words above melody or harmony," Mr. Bradley said.

People think of rap lyrics as being only about money, women, status and cocaine, he said, but more pervasive themes are leadership, collaboration and the vulnerability beneath the swagger -- all relevant in business.

Reminds me of this line by Jonah Peretti:

"Remember, you're not selling out," Jonah Peretti, a co-founder of the Huffington Post, told Denton. "You're blowing up. Think in terms of hip-hop, not indie rock."

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