Rappers and rap writers don't have identical business cards, but their primary responsibility is one in the same: to create meaningful content that resonates with a large audience.
Don't just take my word for it, though, ask Nipsey Hussle.
In a newly-aired interview with Mass Appeal, the veteran West Coast MC reminded his rapping peers to think of themselves not only as hip-hop artists but also as content creators and suggested they start by diversifying their product line beyond music.
"As an artist, there's a business model that exists in the music industry to prevent you from having ownership, to prevent you from being a partner in the lion's share of the profit. The value is created in content, so when I think of us as hip-hop artists, we create content," Hussle said, "But we don't have a wide product line. You go to Disney Land, they got tons of products. Ears, Mickey everything. And so that's the vision behind The Marathon [Clothing] store."
Unlike many rap artists who are all talk and no action, Hussle has spent the better part of the past decade expanding his portfolio and diversifying his revenue streams.
In 2015, Hussle sold limited edition hard copies of his Mailbox Money album for $1,000 a pop. In 2017, he opened The Marathon Clothing, an urban clothing store located on the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue in Los Angeles. And for good measure, when he's not selling music or pushing t-shirts, hats, and sweatpants, the 32-year-old is investing in cryptocurrency.
Hussle is currently promoting the release of his "debut" album, Victory Lap, which was released in February via Atlantic Records.