Rappers have been known to influence interest in fashion trends, alcohol brands, and luxury automobiles. This week hip-hop mogul 50 Cent added the stock exchange to the list.
In just one day, 50 Cent's promotion of the publicly traded H&H Imports, Inc. raised the company's stock price from .10 to .39 per share.
The G-Unit head urged his 3.8 million Twitter followers to invest in the company. "TVG's stock went from 5 cent to 10 in one day," 50 wrote about the subsidiary of H&H. "You can double your money right now. Just get what you can afford."
50's fans responded immediately, purchasing $50 million worth of the penny stocks. The New York rapper made $8.7 million from those exchanges.
Last October, 50 Cent received 30 million H&H shares in a private placement, the New York Post reported. Just days before encouraging his followers to purchase the stock, he premiered a joint effort with TV Goods, Inc., a set of headphones called Sleek By 50.
Using his influence to generate so much activity for a company in which he owned stock prompted some experts to speculate whether or not he may have violated insider trader laws.
Jonathan Macey, a professor of securities at Yale Law School, does not believe 50 Cent did anything wrong. "How can they call it a take if he didn't sell his stock?" Macey said in an interview with Esquire. "All he said was that it's a great company."
Let's hope Macey is right. But to be safe, 50 has since deleted from his Twitter page all of the messages.
Jay-Z, another one of hip-hop's most successful entrepreneurs, also revealed new business venture this week. The "Empire State Of Mind" rapper invested in Buffalo Boss, a chicken-wing restaurant co-owned by his cousin, Jamar White. Located in Brooklyn, the eatery specializes in the organic and spicy appetizers.
News wasn't so good this week in several other music related news stories. After a six day pretrial hearing, a Los Angeles Superior judge has determined that Michael Jackson's cardiologist Conrad Murray will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter. Rockers Drowning Pool insisted upon clearing the air about their song "Bodies" and its connection to Arizona shooting suspect Jared Loughner who featured the track on his YouTube channel. The video used their song as the background music for an unpatriotic act. And the excitement over Britney Spear's return was nearly eclipsed by accusations that her new song borrowed, without permission, lyrics from a 1979 country song.
Wow. We must say, this is, hands down, the most impactful week in music all year. Let's hope new week will be able to live up to the hype. See you then.