Feature

Rap lessons for the tech set

Ben Horowitz, the Silicon Valley investor, uses rap lyrics to impart business wisdom to colleagues and readers of his blog.

If you want to learn the fundamentals of business, just listen to rap music, said Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times. That’s the advice of Ben Horowitz, the powerhouse Silicon Valley investor who has minted money with companies like Facebook and Groupon. Horowitz uses rap lyrics to impart business wisdom to colleagues and readers of his popular blog. Rap has a lot of business themes, whether about the drug business or the music industry, and it “helps me connect emotionally,” Horowitz says. When he thought an entrepreneur was being too weak, he made him listen to The Game’s “superaggressive” cut “Scream on Em.” To explain why he prefers founders over hired CEOs, he cites Rakim’s “Follow the Leader,” with the lyric “you’re just a rent-a-rapper.” Rakim “could fit into two sentences what it took me three pages to explain,” Horowitz says.

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