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Forbes writer Zack O’Malley Greenburg has combined his love of music and business since joining the company in 2005, and he’s even managed to give Hip-Hop culture a steady presence in the widely-read business magazine. Helming the blog The Beat Report, O’Malley Greenburg focuses not only artists but, more specifically, the business of music. One of O’Malley Greenburg’s most popular segments is the annual Hip-Hop Cash Kings feature, which lists the genre’s top earners.

O’Malley Greenburg’s interest in rap music is honest, discovering a love for the art as a kid growing up in New York. The good folks over at Al sat down with the writer, who is the author of a book about Jay-Z’s business acumen called Empire State Of Mind, as he unveiled what drew him to Hip-Hop, and how he connected his gig at Forbes in covering “music, finance, and everything in between” to borrow his tagline.

“I got into Hip-Hop definitely when  I was growing up in New York,” said O’Malley Greenburg. “It was in the 90s and I think it was at the point where Hip-Hop it kind of already crossed over to some extent into pop. That’s just what you listened to. I remember [Puff Daddy & The Family’s] No Way Out. I was like really into that album.

He continued with, “The way things kind of shook out, I saw this opening to write about the business of music for Forbes. It was kind of this great marriage of two different  things that I’m pretty passionate about.”

The former child actor was approached by an editor later to craft what would be become the Hip-Hop Cash Kings list, with a favorite of his, Tupac “2Pac” Shakur, as the main subject. At the time of the article, 2Pac was still earning just as much as other top rap cash-makers. Forbes ran with O’Malley Greenburg’s piece and the top three earners of the time, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Diddy, released the banging “I Get Money (Billion Dollar Remix)” to celebrate their inclusion on the list – much to the magazine’s delight and street credibility needs.

O’Malley Greenburg is a busy man. Along with his gig with Forbes, the author of last year’s Jay-Z biography, Empire State Of Mind is working on a second business-focused book which will detail the powerful earnings of the late Michael Jackson. He’s also sat down with the likes of 50 Cent, rising young rapper Chuuwee and the hot-as-blazes 2 Chainz in separate interviews.

Check out the entire interview with below:



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