When DJ Kool Herc held the first hip-hop party in 1973, he no doubt did not expect rap to become as much of a cultural influence as it is now. Not only is it the most listened to genre in the world but rappers are no longer simply musicians, they’re full-blown entrepreneurs, starting fashion brands, streaming sites and their own record labels regularly. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that some rappers have sometimes overstretched their reach and taken on some more than questionable business ventures. Here are some acts whose attempt to launch products didn’t go as planned for a variety of reasons.
Flavor Flav’s Fried Chicken
Yes, public enemy hype man turned rapper turned reality TV star turned chef. Flav tried to start up his own fried chicken franchise but unfortunately couldn’t due to the fact he was unable to generate enough interest in what he was selling, resulting in the business’ collapse a mere three months after opening. His intentions were to open the restaurant and it be the first of many that he could eventually roll out across America; however, the public had other ideas.
Soulja Boy’s Gaming Consoles
Mobile gaming is currently on the rise, meaning that there are many out there using their phones or other handheld consoles in order to connect and play with people from all over the world. Seeing the opportunity, Soulja Boy attempted to capitalize.
Instead of creating the new PlayStation though, what Soulja actually managed to do was put together bootleg gaming consoles that nobody had the slightest interest in buying. Instead, he found himself in hot water with Nintendo, which claimed he had stolen their design and as the CEO of a failing gaming company.
50 Cent Condoms
Yes, you read that right. You would be mistaken for thinking otherwise due to the content of some of his music, but 50 Cent is a champion of safe sex. He brought out a line of Magic Stick condoms that were designed in order to prolong the wearer’s performance, although unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out. 50 Cent commented saying he, “wanted things in it that wouldn’t work,” and as such the products were set aside.
Kanye West’s Clothing Line
Kanye West is one of the most influential and prolific musical minds of recent generations; however, his business decisions outside of music are, to put it politely, hit and miss. His clothing line is a great example of this as before teaming up with the likes of Adidas, his first line of clothes was pulled in 2009 after designs were leaked.
50 Cent’s Headphones
Yes, he’s back on the list again. 50 released a line of headphones in 2011 that went on to make around $177,000 in 9 minutes before he picked up a hefty lawsuit from a company called Sleek. It turned out his design was a rip-off of theirs, a stunt which went on to cost him over £9million in a court settlement.