Everyone starts somewhere. At Live Enterprizes, we believe in the power of the artist to tell their story and the power of their fans to get it out there. Many of the biggest names in rap and hip-hop all started out working jobs, going to school and waiting for their big break.


Here are a few artists that started from meager beginnings to become internationally known.

J. Cole – Born Jermaine Lamarr Cole on an army base in Germany, J was always a smart kid. Raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina, he graduated from his high school with a 4.2 GPA and graduated college in New York with a 3.8 GPA. As a violinist and pianist, Cole had the musical ability to act as his own producer and did in his first rap group, Bomm Sheltuh. Cole’s initial mixtape The Come Up was enough to get him noticed by big names like Jay-Z, but it wouldn’t be until nearly two years later that he signed to Roc Nation.


Tyler, The Creator – Born Tyler Gregory Okonma, Tyler was always obsessed with music. At the age of 14, The Creator taught himself piano and began experimenting with making his own music. In his teenage years, Tyler worked both and FedEx and Starbucks, later voicing his distaste for working life in interviews. After Tyler co-founded Odd Future in 2006, it took a year for the rap collective to get noticed. After his first album, Bastard, Tyler received underground acclaim and began working as a solo artist. On the strength of his first mixtape and his efforts with Odd Future, Tyler signed a contract with XL Recordings and later created his own label.


Nicki Minaj – Born Onika Maraj in Trinidad and Tobago, Nicki was raised in Queens, New York. Upon graduating from performing arts high school, Nicki auditioned and won her first and only role in an Off-Broadway play. Deciding that acting wasn’t her calling, Nicki went on to hold more than 13 different jobs after college. She claims that she was fired from nearly all the jobs she held post-college due to her combative attitude. After joining a rap group that charted minor success, Minaj pursued a solo career, releasing three mixtapes over two years before getting signed to Young Money.


At Live Enterprizes, we’re giving the music of tomorrow a start today. Head on over to the Battlezone and hear what the future sounds like.