We have seen many of our favourite rappers across the world diversify their means of earning by either starting their own business, or investing into one. This has become an increasingly popular pattern, giving an insight into the mind-set shift of the culture. The current aim is to leave a legacy and create generational wealth through legitimate streams that benefit the individual and people around them.
Let’s delve into a few well known UK rappers that have businesses of their own.
1. FREDO X KICK GAME
On 22 April 2021, Complex announced that Fredo made a multi-million pound investment into the UK sneaker retailer Kick Game. They have been selling luxury footwear and apparel to the masses since 2013 and collaborating with high profile individuals by filming their shopping sprees on YouTube. Robert Franks – co founder of Kick Game stated that Kick Games revenue grew from 2 million to 15 million during the pandemic! They have two stores in London; Covent Garden and The Burlington Arcade. They also have a third store in Birmingham’s Bullring Shopping Centre.
The hit YouTube series has given fans the opportunity to see which types of trainers their icons like and how much they can spend in one shop. From time to time, Fredo is also seen making appearances, namely handing out trainers to rappers Central Cee and Blade Brown. At the end of 2021, Fredo and Kick Game launched an initiative titled ‘Gift Drop’ to give back free trainers from the store to school kids around the country. So far, they have enlisted help from fellow rappers Central Cee and Ardee, who paid visits to schools to give back to communities where they themselves were raised.
Fredo plans to host events and launch exclusive announcements at their stores over the next two years during his partnership with the lucrative sneaker company. A big move for Fredo, showing that he’s ahead of the curve by investing in the rapidly rising trainer game.
2. KREPT & KONAN X CREPES AND CONES
Krept and Konan shocked the scene when they announced the opening of their restaurant “Crepes and Cones” in May 2018. Located in Croydon, the restaurant is described as “not your average dessert spot”. With dishes ranging from ice-cream and waffles, to burgers and ribs, all of which are halal. Vegan options are also available, the rappers are aiming to cater to everyone’s specific needs! This was a big move for the UK scene as building a restaurant from literal scratch is so far removed from music.
The launch was a success with many famous faces from the scene like Yungen, Dave and Ella Mai dining at the restaurant. “Fling on your creps and clothes ya dun know, head down to crepes and clothes ya dun know.” The song “Crepe and Cones (Ya Dun Know)” was a nice touch to the marketing of the restaurant, featuring UK rapper MoStack on the catchy hook. The rappers provided new job opportunities for people to work for the restaurant, their own way of giving back to their local community.
3. WRETCH 32 X GREEN MACHINE
In April 2021, Wretch 32 announced that he teamed up with Franklin Boateng – the biggest trainer blogger in the UK, to open a CBD shop called ‘Green Machine’ in Shoreditch. The range of items available span from skincare containing the medicinal effects of CBD, oils, hot beverages and gummies, to dog treats.
What is CBD? Wretch explains “for those who don’t know about CBD, it’s a natural alternative to medicine, helping bring balance to the body’s chemical compounds.” CBD has become a phenomenon due to its range of benefits including anxiety relief, improved sleep and there is strong evidence to show that it helps diminish inflammation found in cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Since its launch last year, the rapper’s shop has had huge success to the point where he has now expanded the franchise. New stores were opened in Angel, Blackheath, Crouch End, Jersey, Southgate and other locations. The monumental expansion now enlists the rappers chain as the largest CBD company in Europe! Amazing scenes, for the scene.
4. KANO X DUPPY WHITE
In September 2021, Kano announced that he will be releasing his own brand of rum called ‘Duppy White’ in collaboration with The Duppy Share. The product is 100% Jamaican white rum that has been five years in the making,. It was born from the memories and smells that reflect Kano’s Jamaican roots and the impact of Jamaican culture in London. This is exclusively available at Tesco and has already won a Gold prize at DB & SB Autumn Blind Tasting event. The rum is described as having a rich caramel sweet taste with notes of sugarcane grass, mango and subtle peppery heat.
The branding of the rum is what gives the bottle its special factor. The label on the bottle is inspired by a vinyl depicting important moments in Kano’s life. Jamaica on one side, London on the other, with visual references of Manor Road, his barber shop in East Ham and Rex Club in Stratford where he performed in the early stages of his career. The back of the bottle makes reference to Windrush with the Empire Windrush ship, along with a lyric from Kano referencing the impact of Windrush. Kano’s branding represents the imprint he wants to leave in the business world.
5. RIMZEE X BURGERS & BAGELS
In 2021, Rimzee opened up his own restaurant called ‘Burgers & Bagels’ located in Fulham Broadway. The restaurant serves an array of meals which are also halal. “Think big or don’t think at all” is Rimzee’s mantra when it comes to business. In an interview with CEO Cast, the rapper refers to himself as a businessman and explains that Jay Z and P Diddy are his inspirations and how he would like to venture out into as many aspects of business as possible.
Rimzee is a completely independent artist, also running his own label with a few signed a few artists, as well as owning his own studio which is available for rent. Along with a successful restaurant, the rapper also owns a car rental service where vehicles tend to be rented out for music videos. Rimzee has also revealed that he is dablling in real estate; buying and renovating properties to sell for a profit. A business mogul living his own mantra!
The world of self-ownership is a beautiful one to witness. Building brands beyond music has become second nature. As the year progresses we hope to see many more success stories in this field.
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