3 Things We Can Learn From Snoop Dogg & Kid Rock

By : Categories : career advice,Industry Pro - misc,performer,pop culture lessons Comment: 7 Comments

It’s a tough time for the music business. Sales are down, largely a result of digital music sharing, the devaluation of music in its digital form, and the return to “singles” as the dominant format (as opposed to albums). But a few artists manage to thrive even in this challenging climate, including Cordozar Calvin Broadus and Robert James Richie.

Yes, the artists who renamed themselves Snoop Dogg and Kid Rock respectively have managed to stay in the public eye an impressive number of years. Some might attribute it to their larger-than-life personalities or their catchy music, but as far as what we can take away from their paths and apply to our own entertainment careers, it breaks down this way:

1. COLLABORATE

SnoopDogg“I already have my audience,” Snoop Dogg has been known to say when approaching a fellow musician to work together on a project. “I want your audience.” Snoop Dogg’s long line of collaborators include Pharrell, R Kelly, Willie Nelson, Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, Angie Stone, Outkast, John Legend, and The Pussycat Dolls. He also made a guest appearance on Kid Rock’s album, “Cocky.”

Kid Rock also has a long history of working with other artists, whether on his own records, their recordings, or recordings to benefit charities he supports. His most famous mainstream duet was with Sheryl Crowe, “Picture,” and it put him on the country charts for the first time. His other musical collaborators include Eminem, R Kelly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, and Keith Urban (with Sheryl Crowe on “Lean On Me” for the Hope For Haiti Now fundraising efforts).

For your entertainment career, collaboration is not so much building up your audience (unless you are a performing artist or other public figure), but building up your network of contacts and people who know how skilled and hard-working you are. Try connecting with someone in a different circle to propose a project together. You might be surprised at the opportunities that can come from it.

2. DIVERSIFY

In addition to being a recording artist, Snoop Dogg acts in movies and appears on TV (including in his own reality TV program), and produces records, videos, and (dare I say it?) porn (not that we’re advocating producing porn, people). He has a clothing line, and is currently the Creative Chairman of EMI’s newly-reintroduced Priority Records (which means he’ll be helping with product creation and branding for the label which has an extensive catalogue of early west coast gangsta rap).

As I write this, Kid Rock is aboard a ship full of fans traveling from Florida to the Cayman Islands. He has lined up other musical acts to perform and participate in other activities during his “Chillin’ the Most” cruise experience. (Bingo with Uncle Kracker, anyone?) (Seriously. Bingo. Brilliant.) Kid Rock also does KidRockfilm and TV appearances, and has his own clothing line (“Made in Detroit”) and beer label (Bad Ass beer).

What is your version of the “Chillin’ the Most” cruise? Maybe you are an aspiring talent manager, but you could also produce a short film or web series to widen your focus and expand your skill set.  Or hell, put together an entertainment cruise. How hard could it be?

3. GIVE BACK

Both Kid Rock and Snoop Dogg maintain strong ties to the communities where they were raised and have given back generously. Kid Rock participates in golf tournaments and other fundraisers to benefit local Detroit-area causes and funds a music scholarship at Wayne State University. Snoop started has own Snoop Youth Football League in the Long Beach area where he grew up and there are now chapters in many economically-challenged areas of Los Angeles. He also sponsors and participates in fundraising events for other charities around Southern California.

That’s right. These guys have prioritized building up their own communities in ways that are relevant and personal to them. Who helped you? You don’t have to be a millionaire before you start paying it forward.

If you really want to go for the gold star for “what we can learn” from these guys, why don’t you find someone outside your circle and put together an entertainment project not related to what you already do in order to benefit your community? All THREE lessons applied at once.

Snoop Dogg photo by punk17er. Kid Rock photo by Hartford Family.

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About JennyYM

Jenny Yerrick Martin is a veteran entertainment hiring executive with 20+ years in film, television, and music. She created yourindustryinsider.com to give students, recent grads and others a true picture of the layout of the industry, and how to break in, transition to a new area, or achieve more success on their current path.

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  • sammy page

    May 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Two artist that I think are great Kid Rock and Snoop Dogg, I seen Kid rock 2 times at the Woodland in Houston and in Las Vagas I have never seen Snoop but would love to. Also meet Rev Run at the Palms and that was the highlight of my trip I think these three people give so much back to the USA

  • Dana

    May 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I was on the Kid Rock cruise!!! He not only does so much for the community but for his fans. He took a picture with each and every one of us and let us download it for free, bought us a shot of Jim Beam, and did 2 impromptu shows in addition to the 2 that were scheduled. It was AWESOME! Not to mention all the times he has traveled to the countries we’re at war with to support our troops. He’s just a down to earth, good-hearted human being. Snoop is a great guy too. :)

  • Corine

    May 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I have followed Kid Rocks career since before he cut the first cd. He has worked very hard to get where he is. I love and own all his cd’s, have been to 54 concerts( missed the f***in cruise due to college, but you can bet your sweet ass I’ll be on the April,2011 one:).He is very tallented and like fine wine, he gets better with age:):). Snoop, I want leave ya out man. I luv ya too. I have all your cd’s as well, watch all the movies your in, love it!! You have done a slam up job as well. I haven’t got to see ya in person YET, bt I will! Peace n Luv, Corine

  • Floyd

    June 25, 2010 at 6:51 am

    I’m from Detroit and know Kid Rock, plus I’ve worked for him on numerous ecents and projects. He is not the cool guy / humanitarian you represent.

    His events are efforts to maximize income from an ever-shrinking audience. He can no longer sell out the large venues even here in his home region.

    Kid Rock is more known for his string of law suits (from former employees, band members, and managers, all of whom are left short-changed) and allegations of excessive drug use, violence, and inappropriate sexual behavior (search for his name on the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, or Metro Times web site and read all about the law suits he’s bought or threatened his way out of).

    He took unfair advantage of the Detroit artist who created “Made in Detroit”, then engaged in vicious personal attacks and unfair business practices (search for “Kid Rock turf battle” at Crain’s Detroit Business website to read more) trying to destroy a long-time friend’s business out of simple cruelty and greed for a few more bucks.

    Kid Rock takes advantage of his fans, selling them autographs for sometimes hundreds of dollars (in person or through stagehands) or pieces of his wardrobe (asked and got over $20,000 cash at one show for an article he had worn onstage).

    His “community” is a labor of greed and he’s a tool. F*** Kid Rock!

    -one of many FORMER Kid Rock fans in Detroit.

  • Corine

    June 27, 2010 at 1:26 am

    I do not know about all you are referring to, however, I do know Dave and Larry personally, and have met with the other entire band member on several occasions. NONE of them had any complaints, or felt they were being shafted. I am not disputing what you have said, as I have no personal knowledge on these matters. However, I have seen all the good he has done for the fans, the ones who protect or country, and the flood victims of Nashville. As for autographs, I have several items that he autographed and they did not cost me anything! I have sat poolside and talked with him, and found him to be very friendly and down to earth. As for the “community”, Bob does not run that nor have anything to do with it, that is Atlantic Records deal. In addition, all the shows I have attended only keep growing! I have very rarely seen and empty seat at a show. Therefore, I do not know what he has done to cause you to be so angry, but hatred is not good. If you do not like him, his music, his performance, or the way he is, all I can say is everyone is entitled to their opinion. Instead of talking trash (which is not a good thing to do about anyone), you should just let it go. I have people that I am not fond of; however, I do not talk about them or trash their name. I simply do not associate with them. Instead of publishing your feelings on internet, you should address Bob personally, face to face, speaking your mind, and keeping it between the two of you.
    In conclusion, I feel anyone who holds such harsh feelings within their self, is doing more harm to them self than good. This type of stress and hatred will eat ones soul and possibly lead to health problems, not to mention hinder spiritual growth. For what ever he or anyone else has wrongfully done to you, I suggest you forgive, or at least forget. Life is too short and precious to dwell on things of this nature.

  • Kat

    July 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Bobby seemed like a very nice guy when I met him–believe it or not: nice, polite, country boy with all the charm that goes with it. I like him.

  • Kristene

    August 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    OMG really?? I have NUMEROUS autographs from him and never paid not one dime to get them.
    I have only seen good and will continue to be a fan forever!

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