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Publisher's Summary

Tracing the careers of hip-hop's three most dynamic stars, this deeply reported history brilliantly examines the entrepreneurial genius of the first musician tycoons: Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z

Being successful musicians was simply never enough for the three kings of hip-hop. Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z lifted themselves from childhood adversity into tycoon territory, amassing levels of fame and wealth that not only outshone all other contemporary hip-hop artists, but with a combined net worth of well over two billion dollars made them the three richest American musicians, period. Yet their fortunes have little to do with selling their own albums: between Diddy's Ciroc vodka, Dre's three billion dollar sale of his Beats headphones to Apple, and Jay-Z's Tidal streaming service and other assets, these artists have transcended pop music fame to become lifestyle icons and moguls.

Hip-hop is no longer just a musical genre; it's become a way of life that encompasses fashion, film, food, drink, sports, electronics, and more - one that has opened new paths to profit and to critical and commercial acclaim. Thanks in large part to the Three Kings - who all started their own record labels and released classic albums before moving on to become multifaceted businessmen - hip-hop has been transformed from a genre spawned in poverty into a truly global multibillion-dollar industry.

These men are the modern embodiment of the American Dream, but their stories as great thinkers and entrepreneurs have yet to be told in full. Based on a decade of reporting, and interviews with more than 100 sources including hip-hop pioneers Russell Simmons and Fab 5 Freddy; new-breed executives like former Def Jam chief Kevin Liles and venture capitalist Troy Carter; and stars from Swizz Beatz to Shaquille O'Neal, 3 Kings tells the fascinating story of the rise and rise of the three most influential musicians in America.

©2018 Zack O'Malley Greenburg (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"If Jay-Z, Diddy, and Dr. Dre are shrouded in mystery and inclined towards self-mythologizing, Greenburg does one of the most difficult things a reporter can do: he artfully chronicles their ascent, carefully accounts for their fortunes, and renders moguls as actual flesh and blood mortals. It reaffirms his bona fides as the preeminent journalist covering the business of hip-hop." (Jeff Weiss, author of Biggie vs 2pac)

"I've been blessed to work with Diddy, Jay-Z and Dr. Dre, and let me be honest: 3 Kings gives you the major keys to how the biggest bosses on the planet keep winning." (DJ Khaled, recording artist and entrepreneur)

"A vividly clear depiction of the commercial empires built by Diddy, Jay-Z, and Dr. Dre. The book documents their humble beginnings, their rise to fame and illustrates the important connection to the pioneers who paved the way for their success...an exceptional read." (Rocky Bucano, President of the Universal Hip-Hop Museum)

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Current

I liked the narrator. Most business books have the most boring narrators alive. The book is super current as of March 2018. Worth the expense.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Inspiring

When you are young and you see a rap video, you want to be those guys. The cars, the parties and the girls. The lifestyle is what you crave. This book gives a much needed perspective of hip hop. Kids need to understand the work ethic and Entrepreneurial mindset of these artist. Talent gets you in, work ethic and a keen sense of business makes you successful. This book really explores this concept. I loved it!