How Prison Has Changed Lil Wayne’s Business

by / ⠀Startup Advice / October 14, 2010

Under30CEO’s mission is to inspire young entrepreneurs to take the leap and start their business and do some social good along the way. With that being said, one of our biggest internal debates at Under30CEO is whether we should publicize the stories of people like Lil Wayne who aren’t exactly role models.  We left him out of our 9 Hip Hop Artists Crushing it Under 30 article and we’ve had backlash before from readers who think there are better choices of people to highlight when it comes to influencers. Besides, do we really want to be remembered for disseminating the message of convicts? If you haven’t been paying attention the Free Weezy Campaign says his release from prison on criminal weapons possession is set for 20 days from the time of this writing.

So why cover Wayne?

I recently wrote I wasn’t interested in sitting next to Lindsay Lohan or Lil’ Wayne at Marquee unless they were interested in contributing positively to society.  But, forget changing Wayne into a hipster NPR listener like Lupe Fiasco, I want to learn from Wayne and see how he can change my business.  What can we pull from his music that we are all exposed to on a daily basis that will make us understand the spread of ideas?  What is it about Wayne that people are so obsessed with to entice them to take out their credit cards when they know he’s in jail and has been previously arrested for possessing 29 grams of cocaine and 41 grams of meth?

We’ve learned from Lady Gaga

Even though it’s been widely publicized that she uses cocaine, at Under30CEO we still have a fascination with pop culture and why things become hot and how they influence people’s buying habits and behaviors. So although there is an unlimited source of young entrepreneurs to cover who are changing the world in a positive manner it’s the big names, the pop stars and the Jersey Shore that draws all the attention.

The good news is big time media influencers like MTV realize that you can bring the audience in with the trashy shows that are so ridiculous that everyone wants to watch and then hope they stick around to consume content that raises awareness about issues like True Life, gives inspiration like Made or highlights do-gooders like The Buried Life. Because, let’s be serious, even Snooki volunteers. Why do you think World of Jenks premiered immediately after the MTV Video Music Awards?

So forget shielding your eyes to the vulgarity of mainstream music and crying wolf everytime Samee gets wasted off of that Ronnie Juice; embrace it and realize this is what society is attracted to and if it’s Weezy that inspires you to start your business and start making moves so be it.  Besides, as you scrolled through your News Feed to see who broke up with who and how many drunk party pics you have to untag from this weekend you probably clicked through from someone who posted this video Will Prison Change Lil Wayne, and now we’ve got you in our trap.

Remember, it’s our job to produce content that makes you think, it’s your job to go out and act up on those thoughts and make the right decisions.


About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.