Rapper IDK launches business program at Harvard

The 'Is He Real' star created the program to help young people see arts careers as viable options

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NEW YORK (AP) — Rapper IDK is launching a music business program at Harvard University for students of color.

IDK’s No Label Academy, a 10-day program, will take place August 21-31 on the school’s campus in Boston and will help students kickstart careers in the music industry. Applications opened this week and students who are accepted will receive free tuition.

Rapper IDK (AP)

“I decided to create this program for the purpose of letting people in the BIPOC community know that a job in the arts is a lot more realistic than what society makes it seem these days,” IDK, 29, said in a statement.

IDK is partnering with Nike and other brands to launch the comprehensive program. Brian K. Price, clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School and director of the Transactional Law Clinics, said he’s accepted the invitation to serve as an adviser for the new program “because education is key to launching and maintaining a successful enterprise.”

“Anyone aspiring to do music as a business must think like and excel as an entrepreneur. There must be a foundation of knowledge and how to apply that knowledge. Learning from experience is one way; learning from ‘the experienced’ is another,” he said. “I’m happy to support initiatives that help learners understand how to make wise decisions.”

In other hip-hop news, Dr. Dre and his business partner Jimmy Iovine announced they’d be producing the upcoming Marvin Gaye biopic with Menace II Society and Dead Presidents director Allen Hughes.

As reported by theGrio, Dre and Iovine are looking forward to telling the story of the Motown star who created such classic hits as “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” “Sexual Healing” and “What’s Going On.”

For Hughes, this is a passion project.

This is so personal for me,” Hughes told Deadline in an interview. “When I made my first film with my brother, we were fortunate to get “What’s Going On” into the trailer for Menace 2 Society, and it was a game-changer in elevating the marketing of that film. Every film of mine but the period film“From Hell” had some Marvin Gaye in it, and I’ve just always connected to him.”

According to the publication, the Marvin Gaye estate and Motown have approved the project and Gaye’s widow, actress Jan Gaye will serve as an executive producer.

The film is slated to debut sometime in 2023 and with this year being the 50th anniversary of Gaye’s influential “What’s Going On” album, many have a renewed interest in diving deeper into the singer’s upbringing, the discord between Gaye and his father, and his romantic relationships.

All of these intimate details and more will reportedly be covered in the film.

Dr. Dre, Allen Hughes, and Jimmy Iovine, promotional photo for “The Defiant Ones”, (Credit: HBO)

theGrio’s Keydra Manns contributed to this report. 

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