Nipsey Hussle’s outside of the box thinking and hustle (no pun intended) lead him to come up with a way to profit off his 2013 mixtape Crenshaw. According to Forbes, Hussle planned to release it on the mixtape download site, Datpiff, but a book changed his mind. “One of my mentors suggested I read a book called Contagious,” the rapper told Forbes. “In the second chapter, a restaurant owner created the first $100 Philly cheesesteak and got ridiculed but got a ton of prominent people interested.”
So with that marketing lesson learned, the then-unsigned rapper “made $100,000 by selling 1,000 copies” of the CD in less than 24 hours at a pop-up store in Los Angeles. Even Jay Z bought 100 copies. He also launched Proud2Pay, that rewards his “fans with concerts, priority access to new material, and one-of-a-kind gifts, like an old rap notebook or signed photo.”
Hussle then used that money for expenses for his record label, All Money In No Money Out. “It’s time we acknowledge what we all know: the music is free,” he said. “We shouldn’t force people to buy it, what we should do is create different methods to monetize the connection.” We have to admit, that’s pretty genius.