Tru Pettigrew and his Alloy multicultural division have launched a study on the “urban hustler.” While some are jumping up and down, finally feeling like they have an identity, I’m numb. On one hand, we are starving for some great research that truly identifies the much talked about “urban mindset.” On the other hand, I’m not sure I want my son to be called an “urban hustler.” I think I would be happy with just hustler, maybe it’s just the word, “urban” that I’m unsettled with. Additionally, I’m not sure that it’s all that exciting that Bill Gates out-indexes Puffy in the research. He’s the richest man in the world and you are doing a study with kids who are “over-consumers.”

Please chime in I am open to being led to the light on this one. Right now I feel like the 60% of AA consumers that make up this demo put way too much emphasis on over-consumption of material goods. I don’t see Bill Gates buying $1000 rare, limited edition AF1’s. Shouldn’t we be emphasizing investment in assets that last, not buying more goods from brands who could really care less about “urban hustle.”

Don’t’ get me wrong, I have been able to achieve amazing things with my drive, passion and “hustle.” But the image of a “hustler” is not a positive one. In fact I have been in plenty of brand meetings where “characters” with ambiguous businesses are described as “hustlers. We build these “rugrats” up and then they come and intern for us thinking they are going to get a job after 8 weeks making $75K (not my intern of course!).

Hope my boy Ali Muhammad and his new mag 21st Century Hustle don’t take us off the holiday card list!



  1. 1 vonn b
    June 17, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Boy! You hit the nail on the head. I have had the same issues in the past and it seems to get worse. People with no definable skill set “hustlers” want to go from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds. What they don’t understand is yes there is a hustle component, then there is the science. The word “urban” just puts you in a box. Even though many elements of the culture are mainstream, when you are AA and say urban, you get limited to only doing “black urban” and not “lifetyle urban” which is a wider demo.

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