Who Will Be the Next 'Celebrity Apprentice'? - Page 4 of 6 - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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  • Jonathan “Lil Jon” Smith
  • The Atlanta-based rapper and producer made a name for himself as the founding father of the Southern Crunk movement, a fusion of lively, rhythmic hip-hop beats crossed with techno and/or house music. Lil Jon’s signature diamond-encrusted chalice and outlandish ad-libs–think, “yeaah,” “okay,” and “whaatt”–became mainstays in the music scene in the early 2000’s. He’s crafted hits for artists such as Usher, Ciara, The Ying Yang Twins and Pitbull, as well as solo projects, which include the widely-popular track Get Low.
  • Strength
  • Brand Ambassador: Smith’s non-music ventures account for an estimated $11 million, according to Forbes‘ last count. He’s taken the Crunk movement from the South and propelled it to national and international recognition. It’s no longer just a type of music, but a lifestyle with a certain dress, dance and demeanor attached. The rapper released Crunk!!! Energy Drinks and Crunk!!! Energy Stix in the early 2000’s; later releasing a wine label, Little Jonathan, which the chardonnay won a silver medal at the 2009 Los Angeles Wine and Spirits Competition.
  • Weakness
  • Money Management Issues: His record label, TVT Records, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008. Smith attributes the stress of the bankruptcy as his reason for taking a break from the music industry.

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Janel Martinez

With a focus on news and the under 35 crowd, Martinez develops engaging, daily reports for BlackEnterprise.com. She also pens the blog, After School Daze: Life After Undergrad, where she delves into the day-to-day issues and concerns of recent graduates trying to adapt to life off campus. Prior to Black Enterprise, the Bronx, N.Y. native contributed to Latina, Latina.com, Honeymag.com, Syracuse Record and The Post-Standard. When she's not writing articles, the self-proclaimed travelista is on the prowl for her next excursion.   Martinez holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and sociology from Syracuse University.


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