Unlike the US, the UK hip hop industry was founded at the beginning of 1980’s and was cross racial, (Oliver & Leffel, 2006, P 48). The reason for this racial mixture was because contrary to the US, ethnic groups in Britain were not segregated and even in regions that had predominantly non white individuals, there were other ethnicities which facilitated cultural exchanges that formed part of the hip hop genre. Even with its development, major record labels in the UK shied away from the genre and successful artists in this industry were those who moved to America like Slick Rick, while artists in Britain stayed mostly underground. Given the London accent that was adopted by British rappers and the melodic differences between US and UK hip hop at their founding stages, the two industries have managed to be very comparable with the end result being distinct individual genres that keep UK and US hip hop at the helm of the chats, (Oliver & Leffel, 2006, P 48).
In the year 2003, which is almost a decade ago, data provided on album sales for the Hip hop industry in the US was estimated at $2.8 billion and the total industry value stood at $10 billion. The industry has since made substantial gains and expanded to incorporate businesses in other unrelated industries as artists invest in fashion, beverages, production companies, restaurants and night clubs. Leading rappers in the United States like Jay Z (Sean Cater) and P. Diddy (Sean Combs) have become all rounded businessmen with a wide portfolio of investments besides selling their names to brands through endorsement deals that range from perfume lines to alcoholic beverages (Oliver & Leffel, 2006, P 48). In the 1990s, the existing business model was one that had an artist dependent on the marketing and promotional services of the record company and success was not in sight for any artist outside the wings of a major record label. This was the scenario in the US, at the time; the UK hip hop industry was still fairly small. This traditional model required that an artist be attached to a publisher, a record company, a distributor and retailer, to experience success. In place of this model, a 21st century way of doing business in this industry has emerged as artists own publishing companies alongside artist management companies with the latter promoting and marketing on behalf of their client artists. They can also use free services of social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and twitter to market their work. The aim of this research is to analyse and examine the current hip hop business model in the United States and compare it to that in the UK, to identify any similarities and differences between the models and draw conclusions on the more suitable of the two. It is also aimed at finding out the positive elements of the US model that can be incorporated in UK hip hop business given the advance level and large size of the US hip hop industry in comparison to the UK. Brief information on research methods used and research process This research adopted the methodology of interviews with industry players and observers as well as extensive desk study. Data obtained through interviews was