It’s safe to say that when it comes to making money, no genre of music hustles harder than hip-hop.
Sure, there are the exorbitantly-paid EDM acts in Las Vegas, and country artists can still sneeze into a microphone and sell out venues. But since it’s inception, hip-hop has embodied the entrepreneurial spirit so wholly that it became the first genre to really make a break from the tried-and-true market structure of the music business.
It’s with that same spirit of innovation and entrepreneurialism in mind that Forbes annually crafts its 30 Under 30 list, and having recently released their 2017 honorees, hip-hop’s dominance in the music category is impossible to ignore.
In a voting process that boasts a more implausible acceptance rate than that of Harvard University, a slew of hip-hop and R&B artists made the cut, including Bibi Bourelly, Alessia Cara, Desiigner, G-Eazy, Gallant, Jeremih, Tory Lanez, Logic, Justin Skye, Bryson Tiller and, of course, Lil Yachty.
A number of key behind-the-scenes figures are on Forbes’ radar as well, including Patrick Corcoran. If that name doesn’t immediately sound familiar, his client’s might, because Patrick is Chance The Rapper’s manager, and we’re all aware of the absolutely banner year the Chicagoan had in 2016, due in no small part to the finesse and hard work of Corcoran.
La Mar Taylor, creative director for The Weeknd, was also included among Forbes’ honorees for his stellar stage work on Abel’s most recent international tour, as was Joe Kay, co-founder of the LA-based label and artist collective, Soulection.
Even the judging committee of this year’s 30 Under 30 Music honorees is tinged with hip-hop culture, including Nas’ manager and co-founder of his venture capital firm Queensbridge Venture Partners, Anthony Saleh.
From top to bottom, hip-hop’s increasingly domineering presence in the business realm—RIAA absence aside—is incredibly promising in making sure both the music and culture are prolonged and properly-funded, and a validation of all the smart moves and great music that made hip-hop a force to be reckoned with.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.