9 Hip Hop Artists Crushing It Under 30 : Under30CEO 9 Hip Hop Artists Crushing It Under 30 : Under30CEO
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9 Hip Hop Artists Crushing It Under 30

| September 8, 2010 | 10 Comments

With the relatively low barrier of entrance into the Hip Hop world these artists standout among the crowd. Combining their passion for music with sound entrepreneurial principles they have each created a unique brand for themselves. Will their business savvy continue to develop and will they become the next Hip Hop moguls of tomorrow? Either way they have taken their passion and turned it into successful business ventures. They are all paving their own path in their industry and influencing today’s and tomorrow’s generation.

Wale, Age 25

Starting out as an aspiring artist from D.C exhibiting complex rhymes and flows on free mixtapes, Wale began touring with Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, and Lily Allen and then got signed to Interscope Records. A star on the rise, well known among celebrities as a huge sneakerhead you can find Wale on the Jordan Brand: Holiday 2010 look book.

Lupe Fiasco, Age 28

Chicago native has enjoyed his share of success with his single Kick Push being featured in the video game NBA Live 2007.  Aside from music he is also working on using his story telling skills in a more traditional format to write a novel. It’s been said his lyrics rank among those of Eminem and Jay-Z.

J. Cole, Age 25

An up and comer on the list, J. Cole is the first artist signed to Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation and is one of the new artists who many are counting on to carry the torch for hip hop. Anxious fans shouldn’t have to wait much longer with his debut album Cole World being released in October 2010.

Bow Wow, Age 23

The artist formerly known as “Lil Bow Wow” began his music career at age 13 with his debut album Beware of Dog. Dropping the “Lil” in 2002, Bow wow has been featured on the HBO series Entourage as Charlie an up & coming comedian and recently starred in the movie Lottery Ticket
Only taking breaks to challenge fellow celebs in “Madden” Bow Wow is always hard at work releasing his 7th solo studio album later this year.

Drake, Age 23

Originally only known by our friends up north as Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation Drizzy made his way into the music scene completely unsigned. His mix tape So Far Gone received 2,000 downloads in the first 2 hours of its release. With his 1st studio album Thank Me Later released earlier this year Drake has already managed to work with some of the biggest names in the industry; Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Dr. Dre. With a total 34 award nominations ranging from the JUNO Awards in Canada to Grammys in the US he has no intentions of slowing down with a new mix tape due later this year.

Kid Cudi, 26

Signed to Kanye West’s Label GOOD Music Cudi made his way into the music scene with his single titled Day n Night reaching the top 5 of Billboard’s Hot 100. Clothing brand B.A.P.E awarded Cudi his own shirt in reward for his music and past employment. Now making it on his own he is also starring on the HBO series How to Make it in America a show which follows two young men on their goal to drop the 9-5s and make it in New York City’s fashion scene.

Asher Roth, 25

If we all had this much fun in college we probably would have never made it out. But Asher Roth took the alternative route after creating a buzz big enough to gain the attention of the marketing VP of So So Def Records putting his Elementary Education major on the shelf and picking up his microphone to promote his debut album Asleep on the Bread Isle and single I Love College. His witty rhymes full of punch lines and catch phrases have catapulted this artists career with his sophomore album The Spaghetti Tree due out later this year.

Travie McCoy, 29

Lead singer of the alternative Hip Hop group Gym Class Heroes. “I wanna be a billionaire so f@#$%*! bad” Bruno Mars sings on Travie McCoy’s hit single Billionaire from his solo album Lazarus. Need I say more

Black Milk, 27

One of the young artist putting the Detroit Hip Hop sound back on the map. Fueled by the late J Dilla’s inspirational legacy, Black Milk produces and raps over his own beats.  Many artists emerge as the new young leaders of hip hop but few always remain. Black Milk has stayed relevant by remaining focused on creating music that endures. If you’re interested in listening to one of the best producers around combined with sharp lyricism and stylish delivery then check out his album 365 Album of the Year.

Black-Milk-Don-Cornelius

Who do you think the next great Hip Hop Under30CEO will be?

I vote @Wale for the next great Hip Hop Under30CEO [Tweet This]

I vote @LupeFiasco for the next great Hip Hop Under30CEO [Tweet This]

I vote @JColeNC for the next great Hip Hop Under30CEO [Tweet This]

I vote @BowWow for the next great Hip Hop Under30CEO [Tweet This]

I vote @drakkardnoir for the next great Hip Hop Under30CEO [Tweet This]

I vote @asherroth for the next great Hip Hop Under30CEO [Tweet This]

I vote @TravieMcCoy for the next great Hip Hop Under30CEO [Tweet This]

I vote @Black_Milk for the next great Hip Hop Under30CEO [Tweet This]

Written by upstart entrepreneur and Under30CEO intern Roy Roca. Follow him on Twitter @Roy_Roca

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Category: Startup Advice

  • BenjaminBeats

    wheres Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa? http://www.beatsbybenjamin.com

  • Ross

    How about adding some producers? They are businessmen creating beats and negotiating prices with the record labels. Florida’s duo, The Runners, are a prominent example. Both are in their mid-twenties, have redefined the musical soundscape, and are among the most sought after producers.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O’Toole

    Great idea Ross! Want to help us come up with some under 30 producers to cover?

  • Bryan Roy

    Or their managers!

  • http://twitter.com/g_ro Greg Rollett

    Great post – I’m gunna throw in Big Sean to the mix. I’ve been lovin Wale for a minute now. Agree with some of the comments that there could be a ton of these lists in the entertainment world – from DJ’s to producers to song writers to startup companies.

    Good work kids.

  • Harris

    I agree, under 30 producers would make a great article. Many aspiring producers, before breaking out, have to rely solely on their music to create a buzz, and the easiest way to get your name out there is simply using the internet to it’s full potential; Myspace, soundclick, youtube, etc…As expected, new producers may not be making any profits off their beats immediately, thus have to live frugally until they breakout. Sample clearances are a big issue in hip hop, some labels try to stay away from it because clearing samples can be costly and sometimes just not worth it for both the producer and the label. In some cases, the producer will just put the beat out there, risking a lawsuit, in hopes to gain more profit. It’s definitely a tough and grueling business for young, inexperienced producers to break into a world that is dominated by producers who are 30 years old and above, but is still being done nonetheless. One example, Statik Selektah (28 yrs old).

  • Usama

    Superb list. Confirming that talent sells.

  • Dion_johnston

    what about wiz?

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