3 Kings: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, and Hip-Hop's Multibillion-Dollar Rise
3 Kings: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, and Hip-Hop's Multibillion-Dollar Rise
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Annotation: Tracing the careers of hip-hop's three most dynamic stars, this deeply reported history brilliantly examines the entrepreneurial genius of the first musician tycoons: Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z.
Genre: Visual arts
Catalog Number: #192297
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: xii, 307 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-316-31653-9
ISBN 13: 978-0-316-31653-8
Dewey: 782.421649092
LCCN: 2017021046
Dimensions: 25 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
A reported history of the business and businesses of hip-hop.Talking about the many successes of Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z, Russell Simmons says to Forbes senior media and entertainment editor Greenburg (Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire, 2014, etc.), "they just said, ‘Why don't I do it myself?' It's funny that in other industries, people didn't do it, all the rock stars, they never did it." This entrepreneurial spirit is the author's primary concern as he traces hip-hop from its origins in 1970s New York to its current station at the center of the cultural mainstream. Drawing from interviews with several hip-hop pioneers, Greenburg goes in depth on the early years to establish the context in which his titular figures arose. However, forefronting the three iconic moguls proves a bit ham-fisted. While they are the wealthiest individuals to emerge from hip-hop (combined wealth of at least $2.5 billion), the author strains to identify qualities these different men share that might set them apart from other major figures in hip-hop. Greenburg puts forward 50 Cent as a possible fourth king, and he devotes plenty of space to Simmons, the first hip-hop mogul, and other contemporaries such as Nas and Swizz Beatz, who have done well financially. But coming on the heels of The Defiant Ones, HBO's tribute to the business acumen of Dre and Jimmy Iovine, and Jay-Z's album "4:44"—among other things, a wealth-management tutorial—this book offers a pleasingly broad perspective of hip-hop as economic triumph. Furthermore, Greenburg's vivid descriptions—a small sampling includes the "farty bass lines" of Dre's G-funk period; Suge Knight in his notorious 1995 Source Awards appearance "looking like a gang-affiliated Kool-Aid Man"; and Diddy dressed like "a very fashionable porcupine"—make for engaging reporting that will satisfy neophytes and devotees alike.A wide-ranging survey of the first four decades of hip-hop that vividly brings some of the culture's biggest success stories into one place.
Publishers Weekly
Greenburg, a media and entertainment editor at Forbes who focused on the business success of Jay-Z in his previous book, Empire State of Mind, here widens his scope for a detailed look at the rise of the financial empires built by Jay-Z and his hip-hop contemporaries Diddy and Dr. Dre. Incorporating interviews with such early hip-hop pioneers as Fab 5 Freddy and Starski, as well as many of his subjects- current business partners, Greenburg follows the growth of hip-hop from New York City-s -dysfunctional housing projects- in the 1960s and 1970s to Diddy-s Revolt network, which brought hip-hop -to fifty-million people between cable, Web, and mobile.- Greenburg provides sharp looks at the intricate ways in which Diddy, -the flashy impresario-; Jay-Z, -the brainy lyricist-; and Dre, -the quiet perfectionist..obsessed with sound quality- parlayed their unique skills into hugely successful business deals, such as Dre-s cofounding of an electronics company, Beats, that Apple bought in 2014 for $3 billion, and Jay-Z-s investment in the NBA-s Brooklyn Nets. It-s an excellent look at hip-hop that combines cultural and financial history to show what Greenburg, referencing rapper KRS-One, calls -the hip-hopitization of corporate America.- (Mar.)
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Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages [265]-297) and index.
Reading Level: 9.0
Interest Level: 9+

Tracing the careers of hip-hop's three most dynamic stars, this deeply reported history brilliantly examines the entrepreneurial genius of the first musician tycoons: Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z.

Being successful musicians was simply never enough for the three kings of hip-hop. Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z lifted themselves from childhood adversity into tycoon territory, amassing levels of fame and wealth that not only outshone all other contemporary hip-hop artists, but with a combined net worth of well over $2 billion made them the three richest American musicians, period.

Yet their fortunes have little to do with selling their own albums: between Diddy's Ciroc vodka, Dre's $3 billion sale of his Beats headphones to Apple, and Jay-Z's Tidal streaming service and other assets, these artists have transcended pop music fame to become lifestyle icons and moguls.

Hip-hop is no longer just a musical genre; it's become a way of life that encompasses fashion, film, food, drink, sports, electronics and more -- one that has opened new paths to profit and to critical and commercial acclaim. Thanks in large part to the Three Kings -- who all started their own record labels and released classic albums before moving on to become multifaceted businessmen -- hip-hop has been transformed from a genre spawned in poverty into a truly global multibillion-dollar industry.

These men are the modern embodiment of the American Dream, but their stories as great thinkers and entrepreneurs have yet to be told in full. Based on a decade of reporting, and interviews with more than 100 sources including hip-hop pioneers Russell Simmons and Fab 5 Freddy; new-breed executives like former Def Jam chief Kevin Liles and venture capitalist Troy Carter; and stars from Swizz Beatz to Shaquille O'Neal, 3 Kings tells the fascinating story of the rise and rise of the three most influential musicians in America.

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