Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich
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Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich

Edited by Iain Hay and Jonathan V. Beaverstock

Fewer than 100 people own and control more wealth than 50 per cent of the world’s population. The Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich is a unique examination of both the lives and lifestyles of the super-rich, as well as the processes that underpin super-wealth generation and its unequal distribution. Drawing on a multiplicity of international examples, leading experts from across the social sciences offer a landmark multidisciplinary contribution to emerging analyses of the global super-rich and their astonishing wealth. The book’s 22 accessible and coherently organised chapters cover a range of captivating topics from biographies of illicit super-wealth, to tax footprint reduction, to the environmental consequences of super-rich lives and their conspicuous consumption.
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Chapter 9: ‘One time I’ma show you how to get rich!’ Rap music, wealth and the rise of the hip-hop mogul

Allan Watson


In little more than two decades, rap music, and its associated hip-hop culture, has gone from underground phenomenon to a multimillion-dollar business. It has gained a ubiquitous presence and lasting foothold in the market economy, achieved transnational acceptance, and co-opted the mainstream music industry to generate huge sums of money. In 2000, it was estimated that rap music generated US$1.8 billion in sales in the United States alone (Kun, 2002), and in 2006 US$1.3 billion, equivalent to 11.4 per cent of the entire US music market (Miller-Young, 2008). But hip-hop culture also extends beyond music and dance; it is not merely a form of entertainment but has become a lifestyle, helping to break down the separation between pop culture and daily life (Jenkins, 2011), influencing fashion and consumption of a wide range of lifestyle goods. As Miller-Young (2008) argues, hip-hop has become the main form of legibility for African American culture, and one that has diasporic and global effects. As a well-established industry with considerable economic power, hip-hop has created significant economic opportunities for recording artists, producers and entrepreneurs (Cox Edmondson, 2008).

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