How Jay-Z, Eminem, and Steve Jobs Can Bring Us Salvation
(Originally published in Fast Company.com 7/11)
Millions of kids idolize hip-hop artists and rappers and have dreams of becoming one. They think that rapping would be a great way to get rich. Most of them will never get there. And people that are talented often have no background in the business side, so they will disintegrate or lose all of their money.
And there is a proliferation of young people, and not so young people, who want to create the next Facebook, Google, Zappos, etc. Most of these people will never get there either.
But, what if we could get some of these hip-hop moguls, like Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Eminem, Chamillionaire, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Missy Elliot, together with some of the tech leaders like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Tony Hsieh, Gina Trapani, Clara Shih, in dialogues and round tables?
Here is my vision:
Young people could learn about all aspects of the music world and the other options like sound engineering, production, organization, lighting, etc. and about the business of business.
More young people could learn to become entrepreneurs, and about investing, long term visioning, or becoming successful in an organization.
Businesses, and entrepreneurs can learn about being visible, marketing, public relations, visioning, risk taking, and reinvention from these hip-hop moguls.
Dialogues or round tables with these artists and business leaders could mean sharing best practices, finding commonalities and new ideas that would benefit them all.
Between technology fans, rap/hip-hop fans and their overlapping fans, almost every demographic; age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation would be covered.
Think of the impact and influence!
These dialogues and roundtables would be the ultimate model of diversity and inclusion, with people learning together, and interacting in new ways.
Brilliant ideas, dramatic innovation, and new breakthrough products are often rooted in the synergy that occurs when people from diverse backgrounds come together and have meaningful interaction.
This could be a demonstration of partnership and problem solving amongst different types of people.
What extraordinary outcomes can result from business savvy rappers, like 50 Cent, who uses technology, and people at the top of the tech list, like Sergey Brin, and Larry Page, addressing issues and seeking solutions to illiteracy, domestic abuse, dropping out of high school, poverty, employment, education, and isolation
With hip-hop, and technology working together, we could reach people who are bullied or bully, or kids so distraught they only see suicide as a way out, or older people who have no understanding of youth culture, and young people who need to understand the concerns of older people.
Visualize for a minute, people across all demographics tuning in on TV, Skype, or even in person hearing the right messages of hope, encouragement, and possibilities, from people that they admire.
Maybe it would get more of us to feel a new sense of community, create empathy with people who are different than ourselves, and find unknown commonalities. Maybe, these dialogues and round tables could help us develop solutions, with the resources we already have,
Maybe real inclusion could go viral, with solutions that don’t take billions of dollars to implement, and that often result in failure because of lack of involvement.