3 Things We Can Learn From Snoop Dogg & Kid Rock
It’s a tough time for the music business. Sales are down, largely a result of digital music sharing, the devaluation of music in its digital form, and the return to “singles” as the dominant format (as opposed to albums). But a few artists manage to thrive even in this challenging climate, including Cordozar Calvin Broadus and Robert James Richie.
Yes, the artists who renamed themselves Snoop Dogg and Kid Rock respectively have managed to stay in the public eye an impressive number of years. Some might attribute it to their larger-than-life personalities or their catchy music, but as far as what we can take away from their paths and apply to our own entertainment careers, it breaks down this way:
“I already have my audience,” Snoop Dogg has been known to say when approaching a fellow musician to work together on a project. “I want your audience.” Snoop Dogg’s long line of collaborators include Pharrell, R Kelly, Willie Nelson, Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, Angie Stone, Outkast, John Legend, and The Pussycat Dolls. He also made a guest appearance on Kid Rock’s album, “Cocky.”
Kid Rock also has a long history of working with other artists, whether on his own records, their recordings, or recordings to benefit charities he supports. His most famous mainstream duet was with Sheryl Crowe, “Picture,” and it put him on the country charts for the first time. His other musical collaborators include Eminem, R Kelly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, and Keith Urban (with Sheryl Crowe on “Lean On Me” for the Hope For Haiti Now fundraising efforts).
For your entertainment career, collaboration is not so much building up your audience (unless you are a performing artist or other public figure), but building up your network of contacts and people who know how skilled and hard-working you are. Try connecting with someone in a different circle to propose a project together. You might be surprised at the opportunities that can come from it.
In addition to being a recording artist, Snoop Dogg acts in movies and appears on TV (including in his own reality TV program), and produces records, videos, and (dare I say it?) porn (not that we’re advocating producing porn, people). He has a clothing line, and is currently the Creative Chairman of EMI’s newly-reintroduced Priority Records (which means he’ll be helping with product creation and branding for the label which has an extensive catalogue of early west coast gangsta rap).
As I write this, Kid Rock is aboard a ship full of fans traveling from Florida to the Cayman Islands. He has lined up other musical acts to perform and participate in other activities during his “Chillin’ the Most” cruise experience. (Bingo with Uncle Kracker, anyone?) (Seriously. Bingo. Brilliant.) Kid Rock also does film and TV appearances, and has his own clothing line (“Made in Detroit”) and beer label (Bad Ass beer).
What is your version of the “Chillin’ the Most” cruise? Maybe you are an aspiring talent manager, but you could also produce a short film or web series to widen your focus and expand your skill set. Or hell, put together an entertainment cruise. How hard could it be?
3. GIVE BACK
Both Kid Rock and Snoop Dogg maintain strong ties to the communities where they were raised and have given back generously. Kid Rock participates in golf tournaments and other fundraisers to benefit local Detroit-area causes and funds a music scholarship at Wayne State University. Snoop started has own Snoop Youth Football League in the Long Beach area where he grew up and there are now chapters in many economically-challenged areas of Los Angeles. He also sponsors and participates in fundraising events for other charities around Southern California.
That’s right. These guys have prioritized building up their own communities in ways that are relevant and personal to them. Who helped you? You don’t have to be a millionaire before you start paying it forward.
If you really want to go for the gold star for “what we can learn” from these guys, why don’t you find someone outside your circle and put together an entertainment project not related to what you already do in order to benefit your community? All THREE lessons applied at once.
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