By Siva Om on Thu, 05/29/2014
It's probably snowing in Hades right now. The rumors turned out to be true; Apple has purchased Beats for $3 billion dollars, and they are about to officially place one of the most popular and profane rappers of the genre on their executive board. As Apple's Tim Cook said in an interview with the New York Times; Dre and his partner Jimmy Iovine (who was also hired in this deal) are "really unique" and that it's "like finding the precise grain of sand on the beach. They're rare and very hard to find."
If you are a Black American, or any other color American who happens to like hip hop, then you already know Dre epitomizes the high-rolling gangsta life of excess and violence. Anyone who knows about Dre likely already knows about his fondness for marijuana and his involvement in not only some of the most popular hip hop productions ever. This is Tim Cook's new employee, and he has immediately become perhaps the most famous and infamous Apple employee (next to Jobs) thus far.
I suspect this will make waves in numerous communities. Because Beats is so popular with the younger generation, the company's acquisition brings with it droves of brand-loyal, fashion-conscious young fans. Dre's popularity in the black community will draw people from a demographic that at present, largely favors Android—a whopping 73 percent of African-American smartphone users choosing Android. And of course, anyone who loves hip hop probably grew up with either Dre or one of his partners, like 50 Cent, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, or the late Tupac Shakur. For millions of rap fans of all ages and around the world, Dre joining forces with Apple might rank even higher than Obama being elected president.
Seeing Dre and Apple's Tim Cook laughing it up like old homies on the Cupertino campus, well, it's just something this writer never thought he'd see. With Dre and his partner, music-industry insider Jimmy Iovine, Apple not only gets a massive head start in the wearable audio gear sector, they also acquire two bright and creative minds who will help Apple explore new ways to be creative and tap into even larger shares of a market still trying to figure out how to keep up with the tech giant without ripping them off.
Without going into details, Tim Cook went on to say, Dre will be working "on products you haven't thought of yet, and seeing around the next corner to articulate the way to take music to an even higher level than it is now." I expect we'll hear more in-depth details, including Dre and Iovine's official titles, at WWDC. It's there that Tim Cook is expected to formally introduce Apple's newest employees to the world. I believe we shall see renewed inventiveness as well as some great new products come out of this mega-merger.