How hip-hop went from being shunned by big business to multimillion-dollar collabs
NEW YORK (AP) — The signs of hip-hop’s influence are now everywhere from Pharrell Williams becoming Louis Vuitton’s men’s creative director to billion-dollar brands like Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones and retail mainstays like Diddy’s Sean John and the Rocawear line started by Jay-Z.
It didn’t start out that way.
Companies at first balked at partnering with hip-hop acts because they felt that the genre that appealed to Black and brown teens and young adults didn’t align with their brands.
That changed as hip-hop grew into the world’s biggest music genre. And now, hip-hop’s five wealthiest artists were worth nearly $4 billion in 2022 by themselves.