(Guest post by Mahbod Moghadam)
Several months ago, I wrote an essay for Mucker Blog about the nexus between venture capitalists and rappers. I opined that the strong relation between the two “professions” is that they are not actually real jobs, they are both just what you tell your friends you’re doing when you don’t actually have a job. (“Entrepreneur” also fits into this category – I’ll write about that in my next essay!) Also, rappers and VC’s tend to be homies, as evidenced by Chamillionaire’s recent appointment as “Entrepreneur-in-Residence” of Upfront Ventures.
The rapper/VC nexus, by this logic, stands to be especially strong in Los Angeles. This is because, in Los Angeles, nobody has a job. Everybody just drives back-and-forth from Equinox and somehow gets paid to do it.
And so, without further ado, I’ve compiled an LA EDITION of my VC/rapper list:
Paige Craig is….. 2PAC: Paige Craig is LITERALLY 2pac. This is the most obvious VC/rapper connection of them all. Paige Craig is not only the most baller investor of all time, he is also committed to the thug life. I don’t know if he has “Thug Life” tattooed on his chest, but I wouldn’t be surprised. If he doesn’t, he should definitely get it. Paige Craig also has a soft, sensitive side akin to 2Pac when he would pen heartfelt tracks like “Dear Mama”. Just like 2Pac is my favorite rapper, Paige is my favorite VC. I’m hoping that someday soon, Arena Ventures will be (to quote 2pac) “located worldwide like the art of graffiti”.
Will Hsu is…. DRAKE: Mucker’s very own Will Hsu is a sensitive, lovable guy. While he also has a hidden thug side, it is not so readily apparent. While I wouldn’t say Will is “soft”, Drake is not in fact “soft” either – this is just a commonplace misconception of Reddit trolls and their ilk. Also, let us not lose sight of the fact: Drake is the hottest rapper alive right now. Mucker Lab is the VC version of “So Far Gone” – it is finna blow up.
Shamin Rostami is….. NICKI MINAJ: Shamin, like Nicki, is the “Girl Boss” of LA VC. Even though she is young, she actually runs this shit. TYLT Ventures is her “Young Money” (also Gerard Casale is Birdman – brrrrrrr!)
Mark Suster is…… A$AP ROCKY. A$AP is adept at channelling other rappers – he often raps in the styles of other rappers, and will often pay homage to rappers from the 90’s such as Master P. Similarly, Mark Suster is skilled at imitating some of the finest aspects of Ben Horowitz, such as adopting the “entrepreneur-turned-VC” moniker and bringing on Chamillionaire as Upfront Ventures’ Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
Jason Calacanis is…. RICK ROSS (rrrrrrrugh!): Jason is the “Falstaff of tech” – he is a bon vivant through and through. Much like Rick Ross, his interests are not limited to tech – I could totally see him opening up a chicken wing chain like Rozay’s famed WingStop. Jason is the kind of investor who will share a 20-piece chicken wings with you and tell you exactly what he thinks of your product – he pulls no punches! Brutal, refreshing honesty. Rrrrrrugh!