Zack’s latest book, THREE KINGS–a history of the business of hip-hop told through the lens of its three most successful mogul-artists (Dr. Dre, Jay Z and Diddy)–will be published in 2017 by Little, Brown. The news was first reported by Entertainment Weekly.
The book sets out to achieve three main goals: serving as a biography of Diddy, Dre and Jay Z; offering a history of the business of hip-hop that’s exhaustive yet not exhausting; and delineating each mogul’s unique blueprint for success, something that should be of interest to any aspiring entrepreneur or professional. Through interviews with some of the biggest names in hip-hop–on the music side, the business side and both–the journeys of these multifaceted moguls will be told together for the first time.
For over a decade, Zack has been covering the business of hip-hop for Forbes–charting the wealth of Diddy, Dre and Jay Z, who tend to rank 1-2-3 in varying order (the trio was also painted as royalty in the Kings of Hip-Hop series pictured above by Michael Jackson, Inc. cover artist Borbay). Zack first launched the three kings concept as a TEDx talk in late 2014 — but it wasn’t until he picked up a copy of Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators a year later that he realized he had a book on his hands.
Technology has Steve Job, Bill Gates and Larry Page. Hip-hop has Diddy, Dr. Dre and Jay Z. And just as Isaacson went from writing a biography of Jobs to doing a great minds narrative, it occurred to Zack that he could bounce from his Jay Z book to a tome on this triumvirate of rap. Fortunately, the folks at Little, Brown agreed. The book’s editor, John Parsley, has experience with legendary entrepreneurs: he worked on Brad Stone’s excellent Jeff Bezos biography, The Everything Store. Of course, just like tech, hip-hop has more than three giants: for every Ada Lovelace or Alan Turing, there is a DJ Hollywood or Kurtis Blow. Zack’s narrative will incorporate that reality.
Zack’s keynote interview with Diddy at SXSW 2014