BK…Bridget Kelly

Bridget Kelly

During early February of 2009, I was a concertgoer at Jay-Z’s The BluePrint 3 Tour stop in Greensboro, NC.  Jay-Z is on stage performing one of his huge hits at the time, “Empire State of Mind” with this girl who comes out and everyone starts screaming and going crazy because we thought it was Alicia Keys, but it was some unknown singer named Bridget Kelly. Who is Bridget Kelly??

Bridget Kelly who is often referred to as BK, signed to Roc Nation in 2008 to her first major recording and publishing deal. Bridget honed her performance skills early in her career, having toured with JAY Z (Blueprint 3 Tour), Estelle (BET Music Matters Tour), and performing at this year’s Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. She also released a remix to singer Miguel’s song “Quickie” that garnered her some attention in September 2011. During October of 2011, BK also released her eight song EP, “Every Girl”. The EP contained the stand out single “Thinking About Forever.”  BK can also add to her list of accolades, Grammy winner. She is a Grammy-award winning songwriter, penning the song “Einstein” from Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger album, which won Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards.


“With her debut single, “Special Delivery,” Bridget does just that, delivering honest, heartfelt lyrics, over powerful vocals, singing about the struggle of coming to a crossroads in a relationship and the difficult decision of ending it and moving on.”

Check out her video for “Special Delivery” below:

BK initially sang the song “Thinking About You” (her version was entitled “Thinking About Forever”) that was made famous by singer Frank Ocean.  Frank Ocean initially wrote the song for BK during a studio session with her and Roc Nation producer, Shea Taylor.  According to Bridget, Frank decided that he wanted to take the song back, and ultimately he leaked his demo version of it. Since Frank was a more known artist at the time, his version became more popular and was a hit for him (See the 2nd video below at the 3:17 mark to hear her side of the story)…I think that her version is pretty dope too! It will be included on her upcoming album,”Something Different” along with the singles “Special Delivery” and “Street Dreamin” that features Kendrick Lamar. Bridget Kelly will be an artist to watch in 2014!

BK’s acoustic version of “Thinking About Forever”/”Thinking About You”

Bridget Kelly gives the scoop on the Frank Ocean penned “Thinking About You”/”Thinking About Forever” at the 3:17 mark

Check out the “Every Girl” EP here!!

Complex Magazine

Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #3 JAY-Z


The purpose of this blog is to inform the class of America’s “Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012” and the various business ventures in different industries that contributed to their individual successes.

Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #3 JAY-Z

Name: Sean Corey Carter

Stage Name(s): Jay-Z

Age: 42

Forbes Hip Hop’s Top Earners List: #3 of 9

How Much??? $38 Million


Ok, moving on.

Jay-Z.  I’m pretty sure we all know what he’s been up to as a musician/CEO of Roc-Nation, but do we (really) know what he’s been up to lately as an entrepreneur? I took some time to research his recent ventures, and let’s just say, this man is ALL business. It’s amazing how he’s constantly involved in large projects that end up being lucrative beyond belief; he should literally be on the cover of Forbe’s magazine on every single issue!

Here are some RECENT business ventures he’s been on the past couple years:

  1. In 2003, Jay-Z first opened his 40-40 restaurant & bar night club chain. He has one in New York City, Atlantic City and now in Barclay’s Center (2012), where the new Brooklyn Net’s basketball team play. Link to the new 40-40 location in Brooklyn: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1694595/jay-z-welcomes-rihanna-j-cole-new-40-40-club-barclays.jhtml
  2. In April 2012, Jay-Z’s clothing company, Rocawear, landed a partnership deal with the New York Yankees. Here in the link: http://www.vibe.com/article/rocawear-announces-partnership-ny-yankees
  3. Jay-Z plans to open another 40-40 restaurant and bar chain in London, partnering up with famous footballer Ashley Cole. Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/05/us-jayz-ashleycole-idUSTRE76434720110705
  4. In June 2012, Jay-Z invested in Duracell Powermat – Proctor and Gamble’s Duracell brand and Powermat Technologies partnered together to create wireless mats that charge smartphones and other electronics by just laying them on these mats. Here is the link to Duracell’s Powermat commerical where “B” aka Beyonce is calling Jay-Z in the commerical: Here is the link to the venture: http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2012/06/jay-z-teams-up-with-duracell-and-powermat-for-wireless-power-nation-venture/
  5. In April 2012, Jay-Z joined forces with Will Smith to invest in Viddy, a new app similar to instagram, let’s iPhone users create short videos for friends. Here is the link to the venture between the two: http://uptownmagazine.com/2012/04/will-smith-jay-z-join-forces-for-latest-business-venture/. Will Smith and Jay-Z also made previous venture together a year ago involving Will’s daughter, Willow Smith, who is signed under Roc-Nation (Jay-Z’s label), to make a movie called “Annie.” Here is the link: http://hiphopwired.com/2011/01/26/jay-z-and-will-smith-start-movie-venture/
  6. Put out his second book, “Empire State of Mind: Jay-Z’s Journey from Street Corner to Corner Office” in 2011. http://www.amazon.com/Empire-State-Mind-Street-Corner/dp/1591845408
  7. Part ownership of the Brooklyn Nets (help relocate and build a new stadium in Brooklyn). Rumor has it that he only owns 1/15th of 1% (about 0.067%) of the New Jersey Nets, but he will be earning millions from it. Inside Barclay’s Center includes Jay-Z’s 40-40 restaurant, a Rocawear store and many other interesting arrangements that cater to Jay-Z’s interests, not to mention, eight sold out concerts in the arena. Here is the link for more information:http://www.businessinsider.com/jay-z-brooklyn-nets-power-2012-8
  8. In 2012, Jay-Z executive produces NBA 2K13, basketball video game from 2K Sports. More specifically, he oversaw the soundtrack of the game. Here is the trailer for the video game:
  9. In 2008, Live Nation made a 360-degree deal contract for $150 million with Jay-Z for the next decade. Here is the link: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1584696/jay-z-sign-150-million-live-nation-deal-report.jhtml (This is more old news, but I couldn’t leave it out because we’ve been talking about it a lot in our classes.)

Here is a link to an awesome video I found that wraps up Jay-Z’s business ventures in six minutes: Jay-Z’s Successes and Failures Video in 6 Minutes!

Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have a wife that makes a ridiculous amount annually also. Beyoncé and Jay-Z together is the highest paid star couple of 2012. Here is the link to the exact amounts they both earned the past year: http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/09/beyonce-jay-z-worlds-highest-paid-star-couple/

As you can see, Jay-Z’s not going anywhere. I am really interested to see which industry Jay-Z decides to dominate next.

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!” Jay-Z

Jay-Z is the 3rd most successful and influential hip hop entrepreneur of 2012.

(We’re so close! Please stay tuned, and let’s count down to #1 together!)

By: Aaron Kim (Duke)

Extra sources: http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2012/0905_hip-hop-cash-kings.html

*Sources are provided within the post.