By Yuriy Andriyashchuk
Hip-HopVibe.com Staff Writer
We all see celebrities on TV, and wish we could have their talents, their style, and their overall life of luxury. But the majority of the time, we don’t know the struggle they endured for them to get in the position they’re in. Some underwent homelessness, while others were heavy into drug dealing…needless to say, the struggle was real!
Whether they were discovered, or hustled their way to the top, you can’t deny their work ethic. Before he was 50 Cent, he was Curtis Jackson. Seeing him on TV, he’s wealthy, successful, and thriving, but as a child, his mother was murdered at the young age of eight. Then, later on, in the year 2000, he was shot nine times, at close range, and managed to survive. Not all celebs endured a life like that, but just be aware that what you see on TV has a story behind it, and not all the stories are fairy tales.
Although these hip-hop celebrities had traumatic, and life changing circumstances, it still didn’t stop them from working towards their dreams. With persistence and dedication, these hip-hop sensations climbed the charts and rose to fame. Check out these hip-hop celebs who overcame their obstacles and let it be their claim to fame.
Lil Wayne grew up in the Hollygrove area of New Orleans, Louisiana. Hollygrove is considered to be one of the poorest neighborhoods of New Orleans, but he and his mother managed. Living in the Holly Grove area gave way to alternative ways of surviving. When he wasn’t in the studio, he sold crack to help bring in some extra money. He actually accidentally shot himself in the chest when he was younger, with his mother’s gun.
His mother was 19 when she had him, and his father left the family at the young age of 2-years-old. Born as Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. the rap superstar started creating music at a very young age. At the age of eight, he started rapping, and later met the founders of Cash Money Records.
They were so impressed with his rapping skills that they gave him a business card. Once he got that business card, the possibilities were limitless for him. He continuously called them until they gave him a chance and took him under their wing…from there, the rest is history. Lil Wayne went on to record music, and win several Grammy awards. He is considered to be the greatest rapper alive.
You can’t deny Cardi B’s come-up. This Grammy award winner hit the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100, making her the first solo female rapper to grace the number one spot in 19 years since Lauryn Hill, without a featured artist on the track.
Cardi B is not one who’s ashamed of her past either. She’s definitely one of the most honest rappers when it comes to talking about herself. She candidly talks about sex and relationships, politics, and beefs with other celebrities.
Before her glow-up, she was a stripper that constantly took to social media to voice her opinions, which gave her a huge following. Later she joined the cast of “Love & Hip-Hop,” where she catapulted her way to fame. You can even see on the hit reality show where she is trying to make her way into the rap game.
Nowadays, you can catch Cardi rocking apparel and shoes from Fashion Nova, and be on the lookout for her new endorsements, where she’ll be sporting Steve Madden, as well as Reebok’s new Aztrek sneaker line and apparel. If those aren’t money moves…then what is?
The native of Compton, California makes it very known through his music that it was a struggle growing up. Being surrounded by gang violence, drugs, and poverty, Kendrick managed to stay away from that lifestyle, and not become a victim of his environment…he was, instead, motivated to rise above his circumstances.
He was a good student in school, and enjoyed writing stories and poems, and then transitioned to lyrics, which eventually landed him in the mixtape game. It was his mixtapes that grabbed the attention of superstar producer Dr. Dre, and being from Compton himself, Dr. Dre checked him out.
Kendrick then went on to win Grammys, and his album, “DAMN.,” went down in history as the first of its genre of music to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. He is living proof that just because you’re from the ghetto, doesn’t mean you have to let it determine your future.
Jay-Z is one of the biggest hip-hop moguls to this day. He is an entrepreneur, husband, father, and very wealthy businessman, but his life didn’t start out that way. Shawn Carter was raised in the Marcy Projects in Brooklyn, New York, where drugs were all around him. His father left him and his mother at age 11.
Hitting a rough patch in his younger years, he dealt drugs, as well as dabbled with gun violence, with it being so easily accessible. He let his experiences become is money makers. Jay-Z got into the rap game, and truly made a name for himself. He is now one of the most successful businessmen today…not to mention,he married the Queen Bey herself, Beyonce!
As a wealthy businessman, Jay-Z has several business ventures. He was the president of Def Jam, has a partnership with the concert promotion company Live Nation, was part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, had his own clothing line, and he owns the 40/40 Club.
With Jay-Z making a name for himself, coming from a background of a hard knock life, that just goes to show that if he can do it, you can too. If you’re a small business owner or want to be, you too can also make a name for yourself through your brand. It will take a lot of work, but as you’ve seen, it can really pay off.
When Jay-Z started venturing out into other projects, he started associating himself with products and services, and promoted them. When people see those products, they automatically associate that celebrity with that product. The same goes for you…if you have a product you’re selling, talk it up on your website and social media page through videos, pictures, and articles.
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