How Dr Dre Proved Anything Is Possible & Made It To A Billion
Last week Apple shocked the world with news they’re about to complete a deal for Beats Electronics for $3.2 Billion. Yes, BILLION! (I bought mine for 90 quid off eBay so I think I got the better deal to be honest).
Anyway, as part owner of Beats, Dr Dre is now set to become the first hip-hop billionaire. Before you think Dre just struck lucky, I’ve gotta point out his continued success over the last twenty years has come down to a series of smart, calculated decisions.
Let me break down the real reasons Dre is now the billion dollar man.
1. Being able to think outside of the box
What do the likes of T Pain, Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, Birdman, Jay-Z and Diddy all have in common?They all own or have invested in alcohol products. C’mon guys I can’t drink Ciroc, Nuvo, Ace of Spades, Myx Moscato and all the rest of the alcoholic products you’re all trying to flog at once. My pockets aren’t deep enough for all that and besides, mixing drinks is a rookie mistake.
One thing hip-hop has shown is if something seems to be winning, everybody and their hype-man will get involved, (example = auto tune). When Dre decided to get into the headphone and music accessory game, it was a clear lane for him and Jimmy Lovine to take over. Funnily enough, soon after 50 Cent and RZA jumped on the headphone bandwagon but it was way too late, Beats were already King and Dre had conquered.
Sometimes it pays off to pull away from the crowd.
2. Finding and exploiting gaps in the market
Do you go after acts to copy these guys success or do you wisely figure out 70% of rap music is bought by white kids. There isn’t a popular rapper out that looks like them, how about this kid from Detroit with rhymes for days? Yeah, he’ll do. Well, guess what?
White America loves a white American rapper. Almost 45 million albums sold later, I think Dre made a smart move there as well.
3. Don’t be afraid to ditch dead wood
Dr Dre left NWA to go solo in 1991 at the peak of their popularity after their second straight platinum album. At the time this seemed like career suicide, right? I mean, would Kendrick leave TDE right now? Did 50 Cent leave G-Unit in the mid 2000’s when they were killing everything?
Think of it this way, no one can say you’ve fallen off, if you left whilst you were at the top can they? Leaving when you’re hot gives you the ability to pick and choose whenever you wanna come back. Dre wins again.
4. Get someone else to do the work
Dre is known by most as a rapper which is funny to me because he hasn’t dropped an album in 15 years and he doesn’t even write his rhymes, he never has. What’s even funnier to me is that most people don’t know and those that do, don’t really care.
Not a lot of people could get away with this but Dre’s successfully managed it for years. “Originality is undetected plagiarism”.
5. Keep a low profile
Well, #SolangeGate is the perfect example of how years of managing your public profile can be ripped to pieces with just one incident. Dr Dre is obviously aware of all of this and does his best to keep his profile and public appearances limited. How many billionaires do you follow on Twitter? How many billionaire’s do you see sitting down for interview? Not many right.
Some say all publicity is good publicity but when you really can’t risk the damage that comes with bad press, just stay out of the limelight and let the money continue to pile up.
These are simple principles you can apply to your every day life. I’m not promising you’ll make it rich or anything; if you do though, remember who gave you the inspiration. (No, not Dre…me!)