Tag Archives: marcus king

The Cookout of Cookouts: Teddy Riley vs. Babyface & The HBCU Takeaway


The cookout of cookouts finally happened. Teddy Riley and Babyface came together and gave us everything we wanted and more. Yes, there were still some old black man technical difficulties, but ultimately, over 500,000 Instagram accounts logged in to watch – MAGIC. These two legends have produced, written, and been at the helm of creating hundreds (if not thousands) of undeniable hit records. The financial value of their catalogs possibly exceeds $1 billion. The music, event, and the gentlemen themselves provided a world of observations to behold. We tapped a few of our favorite HBCU intellects on their take from the night and what if anything they believe HBCUs could take away from such an amazing night for the culture.

Christen Turner, Alumnae of Spelman College, Founder of Matchmaking for Millennials & Janelle T Designs, @isthatchristen

“The battle itself was amazing. Never thought I’d feel so connected to my people through a social media platform. With that being said, we have to figure out a way to create our own hugely successful platforms AND/OR get a cut from the platforms that we literally keep relevant.”

Brandon Bellamy, Alumnus of North Carolina A&T State University, Associate Director (Student Services) and Adjunct Professor at Howard Community College, @ProfBellamy

“Like HBCUs, the Teddy Riley vs Babyface battle faced adversity from within, but also from external threats. Both artists brought an exceptional background, respect and similar perspectives on the transcendent nature of music. They are competitors in their work, but contemporaries like DuBois and Washington, whose approaches to the purpose of education varied – but the goal was the same, the improvement of our people. HBCUs can learn from this battle that there is nothing wrong with competition, but we must also be able to work together and strive for the common goal of success for all through education.”

Dr. Keneshia Grant, Alumnae of Florida A&M University, Author & Assistant Professor of Political Science at Howard University, @keneshiagrant

“On Monday night, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds came to Instagram to slay prepared to remind the world of his distinction in music. When Babyface’s preparation was met by Teddy Riley with a lack thereof, he calmly stayed the course and encouraged Riley to rise to the occasion. HBCUs could learn two important lessons from last night’s battle (and by battle, I mean tutorial in genius, excellence, and professionalism—taught exclusively by Babyface). First, professionalism in the presentation and delivery of our work is as important as the work itself. Second—and critical to many HBCU missions—we must balance patience and maintenance of high standards in our interactions with others (people, organizations, other HBCUs, etc).”

William A. Foster, IV, Alumnus of Virginia State University & Prairie View A&M University, Economist/Financier & Founder of HBCU Money, @astroeconomist

“It was an extraordinary night. For those of us who grew up with these two men, having them together in these times – I am not sure we could have asked for much more, technical difficulties aside. I will say for a budding HBCUpreneur, especially in technology, these moments have provided a clear opportunity for a need to provide a platform for moments such as these given the numerous issues and limitations. If I was managing an HBCU’s endowment, I would be courting them (Teddy Riley & Babyface) to see if they would donate a percentage of their catalog. Even a small percentage of the royalties would bring in millions over the years from these living legends.”

Charlyn Anderson, Alumnae of Howard University, Founder of Starting With Today, @startingwtoday

“But what immediately came to mind is too often our institutions (HBCUs) are compared to the bells and whistles of PWIs when the actual core of our education is stronger even in its simplicity. The lack of the extraneous has often worked to the benefit of the HBCU community because they don’t rely on bells and whistles as props but actually prepare to execute consistently on a high level regardless of amenities. Clearly siding with BabyFace, and even with that knowing your value and who you are brings a certainty in all spaces that doesn’t require you to move outside of your lane for approval and validation.

Marcus King, Prairie View A&M University, Founder of Hardly Home, @marcuskxng

“I’d like to say it’s another example of the need to elevate and promote a younger and more technologically advanced workforce to meet the needs of today’s digital world… but I’m a dreamer…”

Ultimately, there will be a lot to take away from this pandemic. There will be a plethora of academic studies that will need to be done, entrepreneurial opportunities, and HBCUs should try their best to be at the vanguard of them for our community. Moments like this are case studies that can help us learn, prepare, navigate, and shape the post-Covid world that we will eventually find ourselves in. Teddy Riley and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds gave us an amazing evening from the chaos outside, lessons within, and as always music to fill our souls with.

 

The HBCUpreneur Corner™ – Prairie View A&M University’s Marcus King & Hardly Home


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Name: Marcus Lamont King

Alma Mater: Prairie View A&M University – Mechanical Engineering B.S.

Business Name & Description: Hardly Home, LLC. The coolest travel blog, brand and booking agency there is.

What year did you found your company? May 2013

What has been the most exciting and/or fearful moment during your HBCUpreneur career? The most exciting part of my HBCUpreneur career has been watching the growth of my idea and seeing pictures of people traveling all over the world wearing apparel I’ve created. The support I’ve received from all over has truly been amazing.

What made you want to start your own company? I dreamt I was on vacation in Jamaica and woke up to an alarm and the reality that is was 5am on a Monday morning and time for me to get ready to go to work.

Do you have a favorite travel memory from childhood? Surely exploring Cancun with my brother and parents while on vacation when I was just 5 or 6 years old. It was a blessing to experience a different culture at such a young age and see with my own eyes how beautiful another part of the world is.

Who was the most influential person/people for you during your time in college? All my friends are people I look up to and have to say they were the most influential people for me during my time in college. They’ve taught me much about myself and are a big part of my success today.

How do you handle complex problems? I always always always, take a step back and look at the big picture to understand what the problem is at its root. I’ve found there’s often many solutions to a problem and it helps for me to start at a point where I can simplify it in logical terms and attack it from there one step at a time.

What is something you wish you had known prior to starting your company? I wish I had known earlier in life that I would eventually become an entrepreneur and business owner. I feel as though my whole life I was taught to go to school, make good grades and get a good job. Well, I did that and found I would much rather be the master of my own destiny choosing with how and where and with whom I spend my time, perhaps what I consider my most valuable resource.

Having had this mindset at an earlier age, I would have read and studied more the fields it takes to run a business, such as accounting, marketing, taxes etc.

Only 28 percent of Americans have a passport and the number drops even more significantly among African Americans. How would you spur more passport acquisition by African Americans? It starts by raising awareness in our community, the world that exist at our footsteps and how important and beneficial travel is to one’s own personal development. Many travelers I’ve met have often expressed how much travel has changed their lives for the better and taught them things they could never learn in a classroom.

There is an underuse of America’s national parks by African Americans. Two of the primary attributes to this according to the New York Times is that there is very little African American presence among national park employees and therefore creates a hesitation by African American families engaging and little familiarity with the parks themselves. Aside from those, do you believe there are other reasons our families do not engage the outdoors and national parks specifically? I have to suggest exposure and economic equality as the leading causes for the underuse of America’s national parks by African Americans. Unfortunately, there are also a large number of us who have been raised in broken homes mostly by single hard working mothers in inner cities. I believe it takes a certain level of grit to explore the outdoors and with today’s modern society I don’t believe many of us are raised in environments where we can take advantage of the American outdoors.

There are a lot of different aspects to travel. What are some areas of the travel industry that HBCU students and alumni should be focused on as moving forward that will present opportunity in your opinion?In hindsight I wish I could have had the opportunity to live and study abroad and learn a different language. As a young black male born and raised in the states, it hurts to watch the news and see the systematic injustice continually being done to my people.. I would encourage others to travel internationally and not live inside this box that is America.   Now more than ever, with the internet, we can connect with people at a moment’s instance, clear across the world. The globe is full of opportunity and there are more places to make a living than in the U.S. Get your passports and consider life as an expatriate.

What do you believe HBCUs can do to spur more innovation and entrepreneurship while their students are in school either as undergraduate or graduate students? As mentioned prior, I feel as though I was taught such that obtaining a good job was the end all be all goal. Today, I feel that couldn’t be more false. It would be nice to see professors teach from a perspective that students can take the knowledge they gain in their classrooms and apply it in an entrepreneurial sense.

I believe the lack of black businesses in America is the leading cause for economic disadvantage in our communities and it would be nice to see HBCU’s address this idea in their curriculum.

How do you deal with rejection? Rejection really just adds fuel to my fire and motivates me to keep pushing. You could make a case my self-confidence is through the roof, there isn’t much that I feel I can’t do and so when I’m rejected I instantly mark it as a loss for the person doing the rejecting. I’ve a long list of rejecters and non-supporters I go hard for every single day.

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When you have down time how do you like to spend it? Friends and family without a doubt, I love getting together, playing sports, eating, laughing, dancing and having a good time.

What was your most memorable HBCU memory? PV Homecoming without a doubt is the most highly anticipated and epic event I look forward to every year. Outstanding memories, although some blurry, have been made year after year since I began attending Prairie View in 2006. Everyone should attend a PV Homecoming, no questions about it.

In leaving is there any advice you have for budding HBCUpreneurs? Do good and be great! Keep God first, follow your passion and don’t ever give up! Read or listen to the audible version of “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Let’s also put to rest the notion we do not provide good customer service by providing excellent customer service and make sure you visit HardlyHome.com for all your travel needs.

Peace and Blessings!