The hip-hop generation must forge intellectual capital as determinants for business start-up success and economic enterprise development. We must forgo images that suggest misogyny, crime and drug consumption as behaviors to be valued. For years, these images have been interpreted in stories expressed in lyrics by urban image and music makers like Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye.
The man of the hour/Has an air of great power/The dudes have envied him for so long/Oooh, Superfly/You’re gonna make your fortune by and by/But if you lose, don’t ask questions why/The only game you know is Do or Die –“Superfly,” Curtis Mayfield (1972)
Mother, Mother/There’s too many of you crying/Brother, brother, brother/There’s far too many of you dying/You know we’ve got to find a way/To bring some lovin’ here today, yea – “What’s Going On,” Marvin Gaye (1971)
These musical geniuses highlight the paradox in society. Both musicians created hits that suggested we might be imperiling ourselves by celebrating the idea that freedom could be found in drug trading and consumption.
The blueprint for success in America for the masses must lead to economic progress; the creation of jobs within our community, economic partnerships that require corporations to do business with hip-hop entrepreneurs and for those hip-hop entrepreneurs to give back to their community, through education, training and with jobs.
There are corporations who have not committed to providing opportunities through programs like MillerCoors’ music competition, “Search for the Coldest”; and the Coca-Cola Company’s continued sponsorship of the Executive Leadership Council’s “National Essay Competition.” And, there’s McDonald’s franchise initiative that promotes African American ownership, the Black McDonald’s Operators Association (BMOA).