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What Hip Hop taught me about "Pivoting"

By: Sabrina Clarke

· Entrepreneurship,Media,Lateral Theory

Pivoting has been part of Hip Hop culture since its inception. Artists have always pivoted into adjacencies like clothing, drinks and movies, with portfolios that include much more. The main lesson I learnt about pivoting in Hip Hop is that you can pivot into any lane as long as it is consistent and authentic with your brand.

Authentic and consistent with your brand is key because some Hip Hop artists may assume a character like Slim Shady, who is not Marshall Mathers. At the same time, Nas is Nas on wax and in tech. Both of their business dealings are consistent with their personal brand.

Let's look at a case study.

Queen Latifah came on the scene in 1989 with her debut album and hit " Ladies First". Queen's brand was linked to empowerment from her chosen artist name and lyrics. When she pivoted, her adjacencies made complete sense and were consistent with who she is as an artist.

These include:

- Flava Unit- Production Company, Co Founder with Shakim, productions include Bessie, The Beauty Shop, Brotherly Love and one of my favourites, The Equalizer.
- Queen Collective Clothing Line
- Acting: she is the first Black female rapper to be nominated for an Oscar; she is almost at EGOT
- Endorsements: Cover Girl, Carnival Cruises
- Real Estate: Latifah Blue Sugar Corporation is behind an affordable housing project in Newark.

Pivot into what makes sense for your personal brand that may be different from your business brands.

Ps. I am celebrating Hip Hop's 50th with my series in July, "What Hip Hop taught me about..."