There’s a lot of chatter about Dr Dre becoming the first Hip Hop billionaire if his deal with Beats by Dre goes through with Apple… I’m not sure what all that means at the end of the day.. Am i happy Dr Dre might have a billion dollars? Sure.. There’s nothing to hate on..In fact, one might say his business acumen is inspiring. He made some head phones sold them and is doing well..But in terms of what it means for Hip Hop and Black people in general? I’m not sure..
First let’s be clear we already know a few billionaires. If you live in northern Cali there’s all sorts of billionaires from Mark Zuckerberg to the founders of Google, to Larry Ellison of Oracle to Steve Jobs when he was alive.. And even though they don’t live here we can toss in Oprah and Bill Gates for good measure. How have those billionaires impacted our day-to-day lives?
Record foreclosures occurred in Northern Cali as these folks made their billions..Tuitions at state schools like Cal increased 300% in the past 5-6 years.. Tuitions at CSUs also increased dramatically. Rents have tripled and for many the ability to live day-to-day has become much more difficult. So Yes, right here in our backyard we have lots of billionaires, several of them young. They are inspiring, but thats about it. With Dr Dre becoming the newest billionaire, I’m not sure how much things will change.
The other thing for us to think about is that Hip Hop has already generated billions.. Lots of record, radio and music industry executives have and continue to live quite well off of Hip Hop.. The eco systems connected to Hip Hop generate billions with many living well.. That’s been the case for quite some time.. Yet with all these billions Hip Hop has generated we see poverty has increased not decreased for the majority of the people who live in communities that gave birth to this culture. And this increase in poverty is happening as we have quite a few Black folks in control of their careers and products and doing well.. From Jay Z to Diddy to 50 Cent to Russell Simmons to Steve Stoute to Ice Cube to Baby of Cash Money We got lots of Black folks making loot and doing well off of Hip Hop, but how has that trickled down to the masses other than us being consumers who fill their pockets?
Do I want to see Dr Dre become a billionaire? Sure if you can make your money do so.. But ideally I’d like to see a deal where Dre came back and said he sold Beats by Dre to Apple and in return he became a significant owner of Apple with the ability to set aside a few thousand well-paying jobs annually complete with a healthy budget for those wishing to start-up business to become the next Apple..Maybe thats wishful thinking..but why not put that out there and dream?
Do I want Dre to be a billionaire? Sure, but ideally I would’ve like to see him make a deal that Apple would have to build a tuition free top-notch college where Dre gets to set aside a few thousand seats for deserving folks from his community..Again why not dream big?After all Dre and his partner Jimmy Iovine did that for USC…
Whats so sad about all this is when Common and Kanye announced that they would be working to create 20 thousand jobs with their new foundation, folks worked over time to prove it couldn’t be done and then dissed them for asserting their goal..Some of those same people are giddy over Dre possibly being a Hip Hop billionaire..