In all of the hype surrounding the sale of Beats By Dre to Apple, a deal that reportedly netted Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine a cool $3 billion, another high-profile shareholder also came away with a much fatter wallet. Rapper/producer will.i.am is a founding shareholder in Beats By Dre and he spoke to CNBC about what the sale means going forward.
“That culture and tech relationship hasn’t been nailed properly, and the only one that does it is Beats,” Will.i.am said during an appearance on “Squawk Alley.”
Will.i.am has not revealed just how much money he made from the deal, but he expressed his pride in knowing that the company was able to take over it’s market and service creativity.
“The giants didn’t see us coming and now we dominate the market,” he said, also acknowledging how Apple products have become so ubiquitous in our culture. “It is sewn into your life,” he said. Will.i.am’s group, The Black Eyed Peas, were featured in early iPod commercials as far back as ten years ago.
Will also praised Apple for finding partners in places that most giant corporations fail to look. As for his own future endeavors, he said that he wants to continue to work to nurture creatives in the next generation, funding scholarship programs and reminding young people of the possibilities when pursuing a career in science and technology.
“So they are not looking for jobs, but can create jobs,” he explains. “I have proof now [with Beats]…[that] you shouldn’t just try to be a musician or an athlete if you are in an inner city; you should try to bring a consumer electronic device to market.”