The Rap Snacks Foundation, alongside partners The National Urban League, The Orchard, Wells Fargo, and The Gathering Spot, are coming together this Saturday, February 27, to present a virtual event “The BossUp NextGen Entrepreneurship & Social Change Summit: The Fight for Financial Empowerment and Social Justice. Led by Rap Snacks, America’s premiere snack brand, the summit is dedicated to producing a call to action for the next generation, while promoting “the core principles of wealth building and financial empowerment for young adults and creating opportunities for communities of color.”
Rap Snacks was developed in 1994 by CEO James Lindsay, relaunching in 2017. The brand has partnered with some of the most recognizable names in rap, becoming one of the most visible hip-hop geared snack products. Rap Snacks Foundation, an extension of the iconic Rap Snacks brand, presents their BossUp initiative, a “real world experiential entrepreneurship program that walks participants from the point of their passions and dreams to business plan, activation and achievement.”
J. Erving, founder of Human Re Sources and EVP at The Orchard, will be speaking on the panel “Access Granted: How Creatives Build & Monetize Their Brand Through Partnerships.” As the industry continues to shift, BossUp summit participants will learn how brand equity and strategic partnerships are necessary to turn their art into more than a hustle. The panel of experts will school young creatives on how they can position themselves as influencers and prepare to work with major brands.
Before the event kicks off on Saturday, The Orchard got to speak with T.W. Grimes, president of the Rap Snacks Foundation/BossUp. In his role as the president of the foundation, he works with the board of directors to ensure the foundation remains innovative, and develops and implements enriching programs, and aligns with other community stakeholders, organizations, and corporations that share their mission.
Don’t forget to register for the event here!
Tell us more about Rap Snacks Foundation, the mission and vision behind the organization? Who does it serve and why is the foundation so important for empowering the next generation?
The Rap Snacks Foundation was established by James Lindsay – founder/CEO of Rap Snacks Inc. – the largest African American owned and operated snacks company and the “Official Snack of Hip Hop!” Through its “BossUp” initiatives the Foundation develops and implements financial empowerment, entrepreneurship, and economic development programs for historically disadvantaged communities and groups. Our vision is a more equitable, more tolerant and inclusive community, nation and world. The RSF truly believes in our young people. The Rap Snacks brand being aligned with hip hop culture, attitudes and lifestyles, allow the RSF/BossUp to facilitate conversations with our youth other corporations and brands may not be able to. Our programs are designed to meet young people where they are – at the point of their passion.
What are the different programs within Rap Snacks Foundation that serve students interested in pursuing a passion in music?
The Culture Studios, which includes BackSpinz and BestCore, is a fully integrated music production, songwriting, entrepreneurship and career pathways program. The program’s aim is not only to teach young people interested in creating music, how to do that at a professional level, but to also expose them to new technologies and a plethora of career-pathways and entrepreneurship opportunities the music industry has to offer. Members of our team having been artists, managers and producers themselves, no firsthand how creatives not understanding the business of music, and the monetization of their intellectual property has left many great talents impoverished.
The Boss Up Summit will cover a range of topics from entrepreneurship, social justice, financial empowerment, music, and more. How do all these pillars fit within the overall vision and strategy of the Rap Snacks Foundation?
The RSF’s mission is to give young people the tools required to take control of, and responsibility for, their financial futures. This aim comes with the understanding that too many of our young people are from economically depressed communities. Our underserved, under-resourced communities are strapped with a myriad of systemic and institutionally sustained problems. The spirit of “BossUp”’ like the spirit of entrepreneurship, is to find creative ways to solve societal problems. So, teaching entrepreneurship in the creative space brings innovation and imagination together to move the community, the culture and our country forward.
What are some of the key messages and lessons you hope to impart on attendees during The Boss Up Summit?
Attendees will logoff the BossUp NextGen Entrepreneurship & Social Change Summit inspired and motivated to change the world. They will exit armed with the knowledge that their communities are not necessarily under-resourced. We want them to walk away aware of the many resources the community already produces, from academic genius, to music and the cultural arts, for example. We want attendees to look inside themselves for the answers and go forward with this African proverb as their mantra “Everything the village needs is already in the village.”
The spirit of “BossUp”’ like the spirit of entrepreneurship, is to find creative ways to solve societal problems. So, teaching entrepreneurship in the creative space brings innovation and imagination together to move the community, the culture and our country forward.
Looking ahead, what are three goals for the organization?
That would be to triangulate cultural arts, academia and entrepreneurs in a seamless effort to empower the next generation; to build a creative bridge between established artists, music industry professionals and young people interested in careers in music, that allow them to mentor and create for the benefit of the community – in innovative spaces uninhibited by music industry politics; and finally, to extend BossUp’s resources, programs, influence and network to those whose mission statements align with the BossUp mission – for those who are sincerely looking to make an impact to partner in this collective work and responsibility.
How can interested students participate in future programming or learn more about Rap Snacks Foundation?
Students and young people interested in RSF/BossUp programs can go to www.therapsnacksfoundation.org and www.bkspinz.org to learn how. Also, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @rapsnacksfdn, @backspinz @TheCulture_studios, and on Facebook – Rap Snacks Foundation.