I’m A Hustler Baby! Stars And Their Surprising Side Jobs…

January 22, 2012  |  
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Oprah, Jay-Z, Magic Johnson, and Diddy are only a few celebrities who have managed to move their fame into different realms of business.  While they were wealthy in their respective fields, there’s never been anything wrong with a side hustle!  Most of us have them to bring in more income so why not the [already] rich and famous?

Here, we check out some of our favorite hustlers…


The rapper with the catchy lines has been doing big things in the business world. He is the man behind Conjure cognac (he figures out a way to shout out the alcohol brand in almost every song), Soul by Ludacris headphones (a joint venture with Signeo) and owner of Straits restaurant in Atlanta. But Straits will be closing soon…with good reason. He’ll be opening Chicken and Beer in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in terminal D which is set to open a little later this year.

Venus Williams

As we all know, Lady V is one of the queens of tennis.  But she’s always been very clear that her interests off the court are taken very seriously as well.  To satisfy her other dreams, V has a clothing company called EleVen that sells casual, comfy clothes which can be worn on and off the court. She also has an interior design company, V Starr Interiors, which has been featured on quite a few television sets. Oh, she’s also written a book AND she’s one of the minority owners of the Miami Dolphins. Sounds like whenever Venus officially bows out of professional tennis, she will still be very busy.


Don’t laugh when you hear Neyo’s new business venture: He has a hat line. I know…SO appropriate for the head jokes people always have, right? Anyway, the new hat line is called Francis Ellargo (Neyo says that is the name of his alter ego) and will be sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue.  I’ve checked out some of the hats and they’re really nice so kudos to Neyo!

Caron Butler

Ball player and Burger King! Yes, basketball player Caron Butler owns six restaurants of this famous chain across the country.  For him, it was probably a no brainer because as a high school kid, he worked there.  Mmmm, free Hershey Pies for life…now that’s living.

Queen Latifah

What DOESN’T Latifah do? That is the question! Outside of rapping (which she hasn’t done in awhile but don’t think she CAN’T) and singing, she is a Cover Girl, an actress and author.  She also co-owns Flavor Unit Management and Flavor Unit Records with long time business partner and friend, Shakim Compere. Finally, she launched her perfume, “Queen,” two years ago. All hail to the Queen.

Kanye West

With a personality like Yeezy’s, we had to know that rapping and producing would never be enough.  So, fashion it is!  If you’re a fan of Kanye like I am, then this might not come as a surprise that he’s diving into fashion: he’s designed for Louis Vuitton and the Air Yeezey sneakers are all him.  But, he debuted his high fashion line during Paris Fashion Week in October and simply put, he was slammed. No one really liked it, the clothes looked cheap…just all bad. BUT not one to be held down (and also an artist who is sensitive about his ish), Kanye has allegedly moved to London and is working harder than ever on perfecting his line.  He also says he’s starting a company called DONDA (named after his late mother) that will have 22 divisions that will create products and experiences that people want and can afford. We’ll be watching!

50 Cent

I love 50 Cent as a businessman more than I used to love him as a rapper.  He’s an author (The 50th Law was quite popular), he’s been in a number of films and he’s even had a video game. Oh and we cannot forget the HUGE deal he had with Glaceau for Formula 50.  Finally, his new energy shot drink, Street King, is also aimed at helping world hunger. For every purchase of Street King, a portion of the sales will go towards providing a daily meal to an underprivileged child around the world. We can’t be mad at that!

Kandi Burruss

When singer/songwriter Kandi Burruss became part of the cast on Real Housewives of Atlanta, people were kind of confused as to what role she would play. Kandi, on the other hand, looks like she always had a plan. She was already hosting her weekly internet show “Kandi Koated Nights” that focuses on sex and relationships and after the first season of RHOA, her businesses started booming.  She has a boutique called TAGS, a Spades card game app with Konsole Kingz, and a new line of adult toys called Bedroom Kandi.  See, THAT is how you flip your celebrity.


I’m going to say this and we can argue about it later: Ahmir “Questlove”Thompson, drummer and musical director of The Roots, is a musical genius of our time. Okay, so let’s move on. Questo has started a catering business called Quest Loves Food which is becoming known for its tasty buttermilk fried chicken.  The only way I can see him having time for this new business venture is the fact that he isn’t cooking and he isn’t the “event director.” He has great chefs who came up with the recipe and they fry the chicken and make the side dishes (mac & cheese, black eyed peas, etc…). There’s also obviously a team in place to run the high end events where you can actually taste the food (yeah, they’re not going to be at my next birthday party). BUT, Quest will be there providing the music so that’s a DEFINITE plus. If anyone reading knows Quest, please tell him to send me a little chicken box or something!

Erykah Badu

I wanted to add Badu and do it last because her new “calling on the side” isn’t really a hustle and at this point, it isn’t making her any money. Erykah is a doula (labor coach) and is working on her midwifery certificate.  Yes Erykah Badoula, as her patients call her, is helping to deliver babies. Every now and then, she gives full detail on the birthing process of one of the mommies-to-be and you can tell she loves it. Good for her!

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