This homage to street entrepreneurship focuses on accumulating bling, stock options, marketing, and the amassing of personal fortunes via heady business dealings rather than musical breakthroughs. Perhaps that’s how the overculture finally comes to grips with rap’s meteoric rise to the top of the charts. Oliver and Leffel more-or-less chronologically recap how the rap business evolved, and they tell the success stories of the likes of he who was once known as Sean Combs and multimillionaire Russell Simmons. Their disquisition on the arc of Percy “Master P” Miller’s under-the-radar success story is perhaps particularly enlightening for budding Horatio Algers of urban music. These performers became wealthy marketing their once-underground music and its myriad offshoots and commercial tie-ins, employing business finesse rather than the strong-arm tactics famously applied to managing the talent. Engrossing and vital in a be-all-you-can-be sense, this is a unique take on a huge sector of the pop-music industry.

Mike Tribby, Booklist Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.

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Collaboration & Ghostwriting

Tim Leffel has contributed to seven other business books as a researcher and collaborator, including:

Duck & (Re) Cover (Wiley & Sons)

The Biotech Age (McGraw-Hill)

The Milkshake Moment (Wiley & Sons)