Dr Dre (Also known as Andre Young, born 1965) has been trending on Twitter today. When you see a name trending – they have made news – either through something they have done which is crazy, or they have died, or amazing news has come out about said person. In this case it is the latter. Apple is in the process of buying Beats for a reported 3.2 billion dollars.
In 2014, Dr. Dre was ranked as the second richest figure in the American hip hop scene by Forbes with a net worth of $550 million. Well he is making a significant move up the ladder now. He will join the exclusive club of people who have earned Billionaire Status.
Oprah Winfrey is the original Poster child for billionaire status. Oprah has been quoted as saying “Somewhere along the line, someone took the roof off of my brain – you
You should not be just looking at a 10 million salary or a big royalty payment as your goal, you be going into ownership. Similarly George Lucas and Spielberg did the same. George Lucas took the ownership of Star Wars – when no one wanted it. Thus Dr Dre and his business partner Jimmy Lovine have created and owned an essential peice of Technology which enhances the lives of millions.
In July 2008, Dr. Dre released his brand of headphones, Beats by Dr. Dre. Could he have dreamed at the time how far this would take him – such that Apple – the most respected technology company – would come calling. The company set out to develop a new type of headphone with the capability to reproduce the full spectrum of sound that musical artists and producers hear in professional recording studios. Quality demands respect from the best.
Who is Dr Dre?
Dr Dre is already well respected in the industry. I first took note of Dr Dre – when Ememinem wrote an – Ode to Dr Dre – so to speak. When the man took him on and mentored him and made him what is today, when no one else wanted to know. Song “I need a Doctor”. The rap lyrics are tell a story of their relationship with vocals provided by Skylar Grey.
Research into his life reveals that he has had a bumpy ride to ultimate success. Failures, betrayals, lawsuits, attacks and tragedy litter his history. But of course this is the journey travelled by ultra successful people. They do not give up – they aim higher.
Rap started as a cottage industry. Artists would sell their music on the streets from the back of cars. They essentially did their own distribution, when the established companies did not want to know. Then they advanced to setting up their own record labels. These eventually earned milions. There is a long list of millionaire Rappers now – and the General music industry now want a piece of the action.
Rappers have diversified, putting their creative abilities and their money to good use. Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine started an amazing company when realising that exisiting headphones out there were not picking up the true reproduction of music from the studio.
The Beats Headphones are not cheap, but they have not stopped them flying off the shelves. They cost between $170 to $450. Next to come was the streaming service. So now Beats would control the sound coming out of your device to your headphones or speakers. Studio – Streaming device – Listening device. Music could not get any better. The Beats brand has widened to include Pills Speakers, Heartbeat by Lady Gaga and Diddy Beats.
For people who wonder what the fuss is about – why not take an experiment. Try it in a department store where many devices are available for you to try. Listen to the same music through an ordinary headphone, then through a Beats headphone. Its like comparing a budget speaker to Top of the Range Bang and Olufsen. It’s a stone against a diamond.
The Cash Dre himself will get from the deal, is limited only by the fact he already sold a huge percentage of Beats to HTC in 2011, for which he netted $309 million. He now only owns about 25% of the company outright.
What good can come from this?
Dr Dre has a good brain. He needs to take this in his stride and see how can use this windfall to build new industries to employ many Americans. He needs to see what charities he can assist to make the world a better place. He has surely made his mark in music and business, so now I look forward to seeing what is next. During the May of 2013, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine donated a $70 million endowment to the University of Southern California to create the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation
We hope he gets the respect he deserves from everyone, friend or foe. He will be on even more of a pedastel than before. Someone will be trying to pick holes and be negative, but in this world money talks. There should be no time for West Coast/East Coast arguments, unless it is a competition to see who can employ the most people and affect thousands of families around the world.
The kudos which comes from this deal, should motivate aspiring young black men out there, that the sky is not the limit. In fact people everywhere should be inspired by this story. Could this bring peace to the streets? – Probably not. However it provides an interesting comparison when an honest living creates such a reward. Perhaps Dr Dre could do Motivational Speaking now.
When Dr Dre met Steve Jobs
In the biograophy “Steve Jobs” author Walter Isaacson describes when Dr Dre met Steve Jobs.
Perhaps the oddest meeting was when Dr Dre came to visit Jobs at Apple Headquarters. Jobs loved the Beatles and Dylan, but he admitted the appeal of rap eluded him. Now Jobs needed Eminem and other rappers to agree to be sold in the iTunes Store, so he huddled with Dr. Dre, who was Eminem’s mentor. After Jobs showed him the seamless way the iTunes Store would work with the iPod, Dr. Dre proclaimed, “Man, somebody finally got it right.”
If you ever wanted any Business to buy your Company – Apple would be top of the list. It is a huge endorsement and a signal to the world that you have been doing it right all along. Well done Dr Dre. We are all very pleased for you.
(c) Black Economics
9 May 2014