Published on February 7th, 2013


Brandon Loran Maxwell: Hip Hop: A Free-Market History

Brandon Loran Maxwell latest piece, “Hip Hop: A Free-Market History,” below at The Foundation For Economic Education.

Hip hop is not just music. It’s a culture. It includes dance, apparel, perfumes, jewelry, cinema, radio, television, books, magazines, and even beverages. That is, there are very few trades that hip hop hasn’t touched. And while hip hop’s lifeblood may be the complex grouping of rhythms, beats, vocals, tones, and lyrics, it was abetted at every stage by the free market.

Twenty-four million people around the world listen to hip hop each day. A half-million people see hip hop live in concert each month. And 28 million people purchase hip hop in stores each year. It is a $10 billion dollar industry and growing. And yet its story resembles one familiar to Freeman readers: Leonard Read’s description of the vast complexity that goes into making a simple pencil.

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