No one knows the advantages of early technological exposure better than Arabian Prince. Born Kim Renard Nazel, the American rapper’s childhood was consumed by music. Arabian began experimenting with the equipment at his father’s radio station to make mixtapes when his career suddenly took off. Best known as a founding member of the hip hop group N.W.A, the talented producer, DJ, and technologist sat down with Ted Cohen last Wednesday to discuss his passion for all things music and technology.
Straight Outta Compton
Growing up in Compton, Arabian Prince and rap legend, Dr. Dre had something rare in common; knowledge of technology and a vision.
The tech pioneers first figured out how to record music on a laptop in the late eighties, and the rest was history.
Arabian’s fascination with technology continued when he taught himself to code, leading him to eventually create a 3D animation and special effects studio in the ’90s working with companies like Saban Entertainment and Fox Interactive on projects like The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Silver Surfer and more.
Although Arabian had access to the instruments he needed to succeed, not everyone in his neighborhood was as fortunate. As a way of giving back to the community he founded Inov8 Next, a product innovation incubator and technology center. He wanted to ensure adolescents have the space, tools and resources necessary to bring their visions to life just as he did.
Inov8 Next follows an open lab policy where young adults can come together to collaborate, inspiring the next generation of creative innovation. Exposing young minds to technology early on allows them to expand their horizons while developing their skills and talent. Similar to MediaTech Ventures’ incubator, Collective, Inov8 Next helps bring new ideas to fruition through its mentorship program taught by industry experts.
Inov8 Next is on a mission to build the next generation of technology inventors, innovations, and products. By leveraging the power of partners, resources and experience, Inov8 Next transforms ideas and concepts into technology and products, covering a broad range of industries from consumer to professional and beyond.– Inov8 Next
Check out Arabian’s Bing Profiles video, highlighting his efforts to bring music and technology into the classroom.
During the interview, Arabian Price gave us the inside scoop on some exciting news. He has joined forces with fellow rapper and actor, Ice-T, to create FinalMation Studios, an animation production services company. The pair are currently working to bring a new Blaxploitation cartoon to the market. First coined by Junius Griffin of the Los Angeles NAACP, Blaxploiation is an ethnic sub-genre of the exploitation film, appearing in the United States during the early 1970’s. The project will feature several prominent black figures such as Dr. Dre, Snoop dog, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes and more, so be sure to keep an eye out!
Arabian Prince’s dedication and commitment to helping inner-city kids flourish are both unmatched and inspiring. He serves as an excellent role model and mentors to young minds everywhere through his accomplishments, generosity, and altruistic attitude.
Check out Arabian Prince’s Interview on connectTed.
Want more? Join Arabian Prince, Ted Cohen, and Susan Paley on the “Media + Tech + Money!” panel at the Houston Tech Rodeo next month.