Recently, at the Chicago Hilton, I had an opportunity to MC a “Hip Hop and Entrepreneurship” Forum sponsored by PUSH. The panel was filled with experts from the music industry: Producers, recording artists, Managers, Financial Planners, Agents, Record Store Owners, and radio personalities adorned the dais. In the audience was a wide array of individuals. One of the audience members stood out: He Introduced himself as “Microphone Jordan”. MJ went on to say that he would do anything to make it in the HIP HOP industry. He stated that he was hungry and wanted to be a success. In front of the entire room, I warned him to be careful with those types of statements, because if you are willing to do ANYTHING for success, which means you may very well compromise your integrity and character for a contract. MJ was young, so he probably meant well. Here’s my message to MJ:

My brother, life is a marathon, not a sprint. Success takes time. It takes YEARS of dedication and hard work! NOONE “Blows Up” overnight. On average, if you do not have serious contacts or relationships with industry professionals or experts within the industry, it takes about ten years to truly develop your craft and become recognized as being on the Top of your game.

Secondly, take this time to KNOW YOURSELF… meaning: who are you? What are your standards? What won’t you compromise for fame or money? What do YOU stand for? How are you making this world better? There will be several opportunities to compromise; however, if you believe that WHO you are in terms of your spirituality and humanity, will always be more important than whom you are in terms of record sales, stage names or media hype, then you will be less likely to compromise.

Thirdly, master your education! Go to college and complete at least a four-year degree. There are lots of people with talent; however, if they have poor educational backgrounds, they often times are taken advantage of and therefore end up losing more money than they might earn. The entire panel stated: Educate yourself! Learn the Business of the Business. Don’t forget that important advice!

Lastly, discover who your true friends are now! Many people will want to be a part of your entourage when they think you have made it, but make sure you surround yourself around positive people who really care about you when you don’t have much. Pray, ask God for Wisdom and Guidance. Allow Him to determine your path, then you will have true success… whether you sale 10 Million copies or just ten to your family and friends.

MJ: I wish you well…


"I want to commend Mr. Bryant for speaking at our Black History Program. Dwayne’s message was uplifting and personally challenging. It is exciting to note that he was warmly received by staff and clients alike. This feat is not easily accomplished."

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