Rapper Mogul Birdman Unveils Indie Oil Company
According to StarPulse.com, rapper and Cash Money Records founder Birdman, a.k.a Bryan “Baby” Williams announced this week that he is launching an oil and gas company with his brother Ronald a.k.a Slim. That’s right, an oil and gas exploration company.
An artist in his own right, Birdman is widely appreciated as the guy who with Slim started Cash Money Records, the meteor of a record label responsible for introducing major talent like Lil’ Wayne to the mainstream and for selling thousands of records in its first years without the aid of music videos. But isn’t seeking out rich oil and gas reserves a far cry from seeking out future hip hop stars?
Right now information is limited and the Internet appears to be processing excitement and shock. The company is named “Bronald Oil and Gas,” a synthesis of Bryan and Ronald, and has a website which features a picture of an oil rig and a mission statement:
• Implementing proven and new cost-effective technologies to profitably recover oil and gas and extend the product life of existing reserves
• Forming strategic alliances with other operators to leverage their respective experience and strengths on development
• Forming partnerships with service, equipment and technology companies. By partnering with such companies, some of our fields may be designated as “testing ground” for new and developing technologies.
• Building a strong investor and financial partner base by assembling and offering low to moderate risk (relative to the industry) recompletion and developmental drilling opportunities, as well as more risky exploration and development opportunities.
The site looks pretty legitimate, save for the sparse masthead that contains only the brothers’ names and “forthcoming” under Staff.
Multimillionaire artists start their own sneaker, apparel, perfume, and vague “lifestyle” companies all the time, buoyed by the power of their brand and their fine business acumen. And this is not the first time that celebrities have started or joined ventures in the energy industry. Musician Willie Nelson started his own biofuel distribution company in 2005 under the name “BioWillie,” joining Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman as board of director members for Earth Biodiesels in the same year. In 2007, actor George Clooney became a board member of Swiss energy company devoted to fuel cell development. But starting an oil company is supposed to be hard, and no celebrity has ever done that before.
Over ten years and onwards the Williams brothers have navigated legal battles, sold 45 million albums, and continued to develop fresh artists in the industry, all while avoiding the vertical integration typically attractive to successful businesses.
According to oil expert Dr. Kent Moors, “indie” oil companies are indeed the future of energy, because they have the efficiency and innovation most valuable in an increasingly insecure industry. Perhaps a pair of hip hop wildcatters have precisely the right kind of smarts to make it—if everything here still stands, the Williams team is certainly bold enough.