From Lil Wayne To Boosie Badazz: 5 Bad Decisions Every Rapper Should Avoid
[With JAY-Z kicking out life gems with his 4:44 album like investing and building credit, SOHH reached out out Sara Qazi and Drew Hawkins from Morgan Stanley Global Sports & Entertainment to find out what tips they have for hip-hop newcomers and veterans alike. Peep below for their Top 5 Bad Decisions Every Rapper Should Avoid!]
1. Living The Illusion Of Luxury Lifestyle
Oftentimes, with the sudden onset of fame, there's an assumption of showering riches upon the artist. To support that illusion of sudden wealth, artists can often start spending beyond their means and borrowing money from peers, loan sharks, or hard money lenders. It takes years to get out from under the pile of debts. To avoid this, cash the checks first, put yourself on a per month budget guided by your financial team and focus on building more piles of gold.
2. Choosing Family Over Your Financial Team
You've signed your first record/publishing/sponsorship deal, and your family and friends are the first to congratulate you. Family first, right? Maybe not. Sure, they took care of you, and now you feel obligated to take care of them, but take care of yourself first by assembling a solid team of personal management and business management (legal, agent, financial advisor, etc.)...all of whom are NOT related to you. If you're able to help yourself, there will be plenty of opportunities to help your people.
3. Getting Down To The "Business" Of Your Life
Even today, artists make the common mistake of signing contracts without understanding the financial consequences. Every decision you make will impact you both professionally and personally, so treat your career and yourself like a business, and involve your financial team in your decisions. Remember, you're paying them a percentage of advances or earned income so they are also incentivized to protect and grow your wealth.
4. Riding That Gravy Train To Nowhere
When your career is really popping and cash starts coming in large chunks at a time, this is the critical time where you can make your best and worst financial decisions. While you believe you're now on the train to never-ending wealth, it's imperative to spend to your peak, save for the valleys, and keep taxes, commissions, and savings in mind. Learn to love seeing your bank and investment accounts grow. You'll rely on them later.
5. Keep Your Mind On Your Money & Your Money On Your Mind
You live the life of a rolling stone, constantly moving from studio to show to interview and back again. Being laser focused on your creative genius is the top priority and now you've hired great professionals to handle the money details, right? But do you understand the money details? Knowledge is power, and that power will lead you to prudent financial decision-making, better financial planning and long-term wealth, regardless of the ever-shifting landscape of the music industry.
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