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Episode 2. The Making of Owners Illustrated Magazine

A fascinating conversation among friends and family on the struggles and triumphs of founding Owners Illustrated Magazine. The story starts off with a strategy to direct market at urban events like NBA All Star weekend in Atlanta in 2003, to other events like the Kentucky Derby, Miami for Memorial weekend, culminating with participating on the Roc The Mic Tour with 50 cent and Jay-Z. The tale covers the many innovative techniques from crowd funding before there was a Kickstarter by having pre-sales from events and rewards in terms of fashion merchandise and music related items. Other innovative techniques involve the approach to building viral awareness of the publication by creating a reading space around the Ford Expedition owned by founder Damola Idowu. A mock issue of the publication was presented to potential reader along with a folding table and chairs. There was a vinyl wrap on the Expedition that was provocative in nature which garnered attention and would wind up making 1,000,000 impressions on concert goers and other people in the cities of the tour. Bryan ” Fashion Williams” speaks on his career in fashion and how he came in contact with the Owners Illustrated Magazine team. Dawoud Shahidu would discuss his efforts to support his brother founder Damola Idowu and navigate several difficult urban environments to build awareness for the nascent magazine brand. The discussion covers the several celebrities featured in the inaugural issue from; 50 cent, Jay-Z, The Clipse, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Funk Master Flex, Busta Rhymes, Maino, and many others. Wole Idowu the son of founder Damola and CTO of their Tech startup on the Campus of Carnegie Mellon University lends a millennial’s perspective to the conversation. Other publications will eventually be launched including: Hustlenomics, The Womens Issue, and Toyz Magazines. Here is a video trailer that captures some of these moments. 

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Episode 1. The Carnegie Mellon Lecture.

Episode 1 of the Hustlenomics Way. Hip-Hop + Business 101 covers the definition of the word Hustlenomics  by the coiner of the term Damola Idowu. He created the term in 2002 and has since register a trademark for it, to define how he went about building his Hip-Hop Business magazine Owners Illustrated and several subsequent titles. Basically creating his own press pass for his team and printing 5000 flyers they descended upon the Funk Master Flex car show where several hip-hop luminaries were present along with their vehicles. He will network with many of them and take several pictures that will populate a website for Owners Illustrated Magazine. The concept of the website was to document the entrepreneurial ventures and the lifestyle of hip hop artist and their business partners. There was a question posed on the website, “Who will be RAP’s first billionaire” as to suggest one of these luminaries will eventually use “Hustlenomics” to achieve a billion dollars in wealth. Damola Idowu is introduced by Dave Mawhinney head of the Swartz Center of Entrepreneurship, the give the lecture at the distinguished Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He uses visual aids to describe Hustlenomics techniques and also provide context to business success by hip-hop artists. On our main page of you can find the video of the lecture and see some of the slides used during the presentation. There were questions at the end and plans for future lectures at the University.  Damola Idowu is also an international recording artist under the moniker Da Great Deity Dah and he uses that experience as an artist out of Washington DC in the Mid 90’s to detail how his approach to building his career was also “Hustlenomics”. He started with just 40 tapes at the Million Man March in Washington, DC on October 16 1995 and will release an EP on Vinyl internationally by February 1996. As a teenager with a young family including a son born in August of 1996 he will go on to release several albums using a comic book image instead of a picture to also build a comic book brand. He will sell T-Shirts with the comic book image and in the process introduce his son to many aspects of creative arts space inspiring his so to also utilize his artistic gifts. In the lecture this approach is discussed as his son Wole Idowu began Carnegie Mellon University at 15 and will graduate at 20 with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering along with 2 minors in business from the Tepper School of Business. Damola and Wole will go on to found a technology startup at the Swartz Center of Entrprenuership on the Carnegie Mellon campus where they held hackathons to increase diversity in the creative fields thru a student organization founded on campus by Wole called, Toyz Nation Gaming League. The lecture is interactive and spans almost an hour and twenty minutes in length. Watch this trailer to see Damola in action. 

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Papoose is a New York Legend who demolished mixtapes and with partner Kay Slay garnered a $1.5 million record deal with Jive Records for his debut album,The Nacirema Dream.He released several mixtapes with DJ Kayslay and his lyricism was unmatched by any. His relationship with his wife was documented on the hit TV series Love and Hip-Hop, and recently they renewed their vows and announced an addition coming to their family. His wife further confirmed she was 4 months pregnant on Instagram


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Remy Ma

Remy Ma has has a long and storied career in hip-hop. She made a hit the massive Lean Back released an album, got incarcerated due to a violent indecent with a relative and returned to grace TV screens with Love and Hip-Hop. She would again team up with Fat Joe of Terror Squad fame and make another monster hit All The Way Up. Her husband Papoose was featured in the first issue of Hustlenomics, and their love story is one of lore in hip-hop for the faithful and unwavering support he lent her during her incarceration and their struggles to have a baby. Remy Ma is currently pregnant and she made the announcement recently at a vow renewal ceremony between her and her husband and gave more details in an Instagram post

We initially interviewed Remy Ma for our Women’s magazine.

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Lil Scrappy

Before Love and Hip-Hop, Lil Scrappy was the official “Prince of Crunk”. He had collaborated with Lil Jon, and eventually would release his album under a partnership with G-Unit and BME(Lil Jon’s Label). He would also show his entrepreneurial spirit with his help in the development of the A-Town sensation Crime Mob, with their hit single Knuck if You Buck which featured him. We hung out with Lil Scrappy at his album release party and met up with future megastar Nicki Minaj on her grind. We saw the potential back then. Lil Jon who had signed Lil Scrappy to his label was one of the first artist to do an exclusive interview with us back in 2002 when Hustlenomics and Owners Illustrated were in their early stages. Lil Scrappy will also collaborate with G-Unit’s own, Young Buck to make a hit Money in The Bank for his debut album Bred to Die Born to Live. 



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Rick Ross Hustlenomics Article

“Everyday he was hustling” and on his road to riches he had to speak with us at Hustlenomics to certify the incredible story of his success. We were at his launch party in Miami for his debut album Port of Miami. There were Rolls Royce’s outside and Jay-Z was in the building among others. You could see the makings of the Belaire, and Ace of Spades partnerships (all brands owned by Sovereign Brands), and D’USSÉ which Sovereign Brands developed and sold to Bacardi. This was only the beginning of Rick Ross’s empire building which has now expanded to a liquor line, a record label, ownership of several wingstop franchises, and so much more including his acquisition of Evander Holyfield’s mansion which we featured exclusively in sister publication Owners Illustrated Magazine.


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Owners Illustrated Magazine & Toyz Electronics, LLC Collaborate to Bring VR, Coding & STEM Outreach to the Washington Auto Show

Wole Idowu & the Betterville Mavens. A group of Washington DC & PG County Students He mentors and teaches coding
Wole teaching the Betterville Mavens coding
Miguel Richardson and Zachariah teaching students at Carnegie Mellon University Music Production
Family Weekend at Carnegie Mellon with VR
Family Weekend at Carnegie Mellon with VR
Damola recording music with students at Carnegie Mellon University
Toyz Electronics, LLC founder Wole Idowu bringing students from PG County Maryland, Washington DC, and Ohio to tour Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center

Students from Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School in DC School to participate in a coding and VR Technology Experience at the Washington Auto Show hosted by Owners Illustrated magazine and Toyz Electronics founders.

Washington, DC – Owners Illustrated magazine, a leading urban entrepreneurial lifestyle publication, and Toyz Electronics, LLC, a Carnegie Mellon University startup, will partner to bring an engaging coding and creative technology training for DC Public School students to the Washington Auto Show on January 25th, 2018.

Damola Idowu and son Wole Idowu, a native of Washington, DC, believe that the future of technology is in the hands of DC Public School students today.  Of his approach, Damola Idowu states, “Many jobs in the auto industry require coding.  Early exposure will be critical to training the workforce of the future. I’m thrilled to be bringing this to the DC Auto Show.” 

Damola, a Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) member, has now partnered with the Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School in DC to empower DC students to get into technology fields and become part of the auto industry in the future. Of the collaboration, Amy Quinn, Director of Teaching and Learning at the Yu Ying public charter school said, “We look forward to this collaboration and future collaborations with Mr. Idowu.”

Wole organizes Innovation Conferences held at Carnegie Mellon University each semester and Miguel Richardson, the music producer who leads the music production portion of these events, will be on hand to engage the students in music technology.  Wole will teach the students to code for VR and an Android smart watch called the TZN1 that he is developing on the Carnegie Mellon Campus.

The TZN1 will also play a large role in teaching the students coding as part of a mobile driving game.  Students will take pictures using the TZN1 watches and be able to learn a line of code and share the pictures.  Wole Idowu states, “I hope to bring a great session at the Auto Show to showcase and for the students at Yu Ying to learn from, grow, and develop their skills to become excellent developers, leaders, and innovators of the future.”

On January 26th through February 4th, multiple VR stations will be set up on the show floor.  Additionally, there will be a gaming section where attendees of the Auto Show can play driving focused video games.

Founder and Editor in Chief, Damola Idowu, created Owners Illustrated magazine in the District of Columbia in 2002.  He is bringing a proven formula that helped his son, Wole, graduate high school and be featured on CNBC at age 15.  Wole, who he raised in Ward 8 DC, started school at age 4 at the World Public Charter School in their Mandarin immersion program and was exposed to technology at an early age.  He graduated in 2017 from Carnegie Mellon University with an Electrical and Computer Engineering Degree.

For more information on the outreach and coding program, visit or contact Damola Idowu @ or 202-607-3629.

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Hustlenomics Videos