Janelle Monae, Recording Artist: Be original
Best known for her many tuxedo style replications, Janelle Monae has created an image that solely belongs to her. From her lyrical content, to her pompadour hairstyle, Janelle Monae’s originality continues to evolve. Originality is her brand. I wasn’t into inorganic things in music,” she explains. “I didn’t like what R&B was and I didn’t like what I heard on the radio.”
Daymond John, creator of FUBU: Create your own niche
Noticing an absence in a growing fashion industry during the early 90s, Daymond John decided to create the apparel line, FUBU (For Us By Us) to represent a lifestyle that was neglected by other clothing companies. Daymond created the untapped urban apparel space and laid the groundwork for other companies to compete in this newly established market.
Beverly Bond, creator of Black Girls Rock: Build bridges, don’t burn them
Starting the Black Girls Rock organization in 2006 to spotlight the accomplishments of many young, black women all over the United States, Beverly Bond was able to expand her vision into nationally broadcasted awards show through the backing of BET (Black Entertainment Television). During Beverly’s early career years, she served as a DJ for the BET network, which ultimately led to BET broadcasting the annual show.
Devon Franklin, studio executive, Sony Corporation: If your faith does not fit through the door, don’t go through it
Devon Franklin is very vocal about his faith in God, and his observance of the Sabbath, because he is a Seventh Day Adventist. Franklin refused to take any position that did not allow him to preserve the Sabbath. Devon showed that faith is bigger than your situation, and because of that he is a studio executive for Sony.
2 Chainz, hip hop artist: Reinvent yourself
Coming to the hip hop scene orginally as Tity Boi (1997), in the group Playaz Circle, on Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace Label, experiencing his share of good and bad in the hip hop industry- approximately 14 years later, he became 2 Chainz. Leaving behind both his old name, the DTP label, and group members, 2 Chainz emerged to even higher plateaus as a recording artist.