Hip Hop Artists Who Diversify Their Investments Are The Focus Of A New Tidal Video Series

Written by Dana Sanchez

Tidal, the music and video streaming service launched by Jay Z, has started an original new bi-weekly video series, “Side Hustle,” which spotlights musicians and their investments outside the music industry.

The first installment of the series features Grammy-nominated producer Just Blaze and his  boutique New Jersey Japanese noodle restaurant, Ani Ramen House, which he launched with business partner Luck Sarabhayavanija, according to Variety.


The next two installments of “Side Hustle” are tentatively scheduled for Oct. 1, featuring Holy Ghost! and their Jewish deli, and Oct. 24, featuring Jadakiss and his juice bar.

“We know that it’s the songs that drive success and fame, but artists are also real people, with interests and concerns that supersede music,” Tidal VP of culture and content Tony Gervino told Variety. “Tidal offers an uncensored platform for them to show a side of themselves that other music sites may not be interested in.”

Tidal made international headlines in January 2017 when Sprint purchased 33 percent of the streaming platform for $200 million. The size of Tidal’s subscriber base has been the subject of some controversy. Over the past few years, Jay Z has invested in several businesses outside the music industry that could eventually push him to become the first hip-hop billionaire.

In March, Jay Z announced a new venture capital firm, Arrive, that will focus on nurturing promising startups.

Justin “Just Blaze” Smith has produced music for Jay Z, Eminem and Kanye West. He dropped out of Rutgers University to pursue a musical career and he is the CEO of Fort Knocks Entertainment, but he’s best known for producing Jay Z songs on the “The Blueprint” and “The Black” albums. An avid video game fan, Just Blaze has written soundtracks for video games and has been a character in one.

Like many restaurateurs, Just Blaze talks (in “Side Hustle”) about the importance of delivering a unique dining experience, Variety reported. Unlike most restauranteurs, he speaks about applying the lessons he’s learned from his music career to the dining business.

The goal of the “Side Hustle” series is to give fans a clearer picture of a musician as a person, Gervino said. “Everything we create has to pass this test … ‘Side Hustle’ is a perfect example of what we are looking to achieve.”

Tidal Video Series
Just Blaze. Illustration: James Blagden

Jason “Jadakiss” Phillips is a member of the group The LOX (formerly The Warlock. LOX stands for Living Off X-perience) and the hip-hop collective Ruff Ryders. In 2007, Jadakiss signed to Roc-a-Fella Records, a label founded by Jay Z, Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke that operated as a division of The Island Def Jam Music Group. Jadakiss is one of three owners of D-Block Records. He has also released four studio albums, most recently, “Top 5 Dead or Alive” in November 2015.

Holy Ghost! is a synthpop duo from Brooklyn, New York City. Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel grew up on the Upper West Side of New York City and attended elementary school together. They were part of a hip-hop group called Automato whose debut album was produced by James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy of DFA. After Automato fell apart, Millhiser and Frankel planned to keep working in hip hop, but gravitated toward pop.

Tidal is owned by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and other artist-owners including Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Daft Punk, Damian Marley, deadmau5, Indochine, J. Cole, Jack White, Jason Aldean, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, T.I. and Usher.

“Side Hustle” is hosted by Adelle Platon, culture and content editor at Tidal and former hip-hop editor at Billboard, Variety reported.

About Dana Sanchez

Dana Sanchez was born in South Africa and is a U.S. citizen. After working in advertising, she went back to school and earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida. As a business writer, she won regional and national writing awards. As editor of a daily newspaper, she coordinated staff writers, freelancers and photographers in the fast-paced environment of daily news. Dana was an editor at Moguldom Media Group for four years, helping to build and manage a team of staff and freelance writers. She works now on Moguldom.com for Nubai Ventures. A long-distance hiker and cyclist, she writes about the business of technology.