Hip-Hop Economy

From New York to Nepal, Hip-Hop has become America's leading culture export

apparel, and even dog food (pit bulls have long been associated with hip-hop culture). Other products in the works include Ruff Ryder Thug Workout exercise apparel. Gross sales for 2001: More than $35 million.

As for Roc-A-Fella, the entity will continue to follow its tried-and-true formula: using one high-profile vehicle to market another. In fact, the company’s latest film, State Property, features acting performances and music from rappers Jay-Z and Cam’ron, and, of course, the characters will wear Roc-A-Wear outfits. The movie cost $600,000 to make4an investment Dash, who also appears in the film, expects to recoup a few weeks after it completes its national release and hits video stores. “With films, as long as you make triple what it cost, you come out ahead,” says Dash, citing a formula that is both a strength and limitation for black filmmaking: small budget, huge profits.

Roc-A-Fella is branching out with its product placement efforts as well. For example, viewers of the popular cable television show Soul Food can find some of the cast members wearing Roc-A-Wear apparel. So as the Hip-Hop Economy continues to grow and the culture makes its mark throughout many industries, Dash, Jay-Z & Co. plan on their company setting new trends and defining how the business mainstream markets its products.

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