If you believe the bean counters at Forbes, rhyme still pays and the 2010 hip-hop cash kings (Jay-Z, Diddy, Eminem, etc.) are cashing major checks from their business ventures. But cashing in on rap commercialism is no cake walk. If you have no intention of ever making Forbes' Cash Kings list, however, please read on for five hip-hop-themed business ideas that will surely guarantee failure.
1. Flavor of Love: The Video Hos Edition
In the words of Chris Rock, "I love Flavor Flav, but he has to be shot." While Flavor will always have a special place in Rocks Off's heart as the greatest hype man ever, it will take thousands of years to repair the embarrassment he's brought to Public Enemy's name with his VH1 reality show and its myriad spin-offs. Not even a special edition with Hall of Fame video models can salvage his legacy.
2. Pimp Juice
Here's a great idea: Let's make energy drinks that taste like berries mixed with Madonna's armpit. Oh, we need a name for it? Well, is "Booty Sweat" available? Better idea: Let's call it "Pimp Juice" and cross-market it with the similarly titled Nelly song. While everyone was laughing at the name and concept, Nelly was laughing all the way to the bank.
But PJ's success turned out to be short-lived. What's the old saying about fooling some of the people some of the time?
3. Lil Romeo Potato Chips
Rap Snacks, a company that makes hip-hop-themed snacks, has featured the likes of Yung Joc, ODB and Lil Romeo on their treats. What right-minded father would want his daughter eating from a bag of honey-flavored potato chips with Lil Romeo's face on it?
4. Hip-Hop Children's Books
What? You've never heard of Melle Mel's classic youth literature The Portal in the Park? Kids these days. Your loss. You're missing out on all that Grandmaster Melle Mel goodness. It even comes with a bonus CD of Mel's rapped narration. If that's not good enough for your toddler, the bonus disc also features the most kid-friendly artist on the planet, Lady Gaga, on two songs: "Fountain of Truth" and "World Family Tree."
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5. Crossover Anything with Charles Hamilton
Fact: No one will ever take Charles Hamilton seriously as a rapper. Ever. Hamilton gathered reams of online buzz when he first broke out in the summer of 2008, but he's been in free-fall since then. He's the only rapper to have been punched on camera by a chick, and he once claimed to have maintained a paranormal working relationship with the late great producer J Dilla.
You could pair this guy with Justin Bieber on a song and it still wouldn't make a dent.