Music is becoming the new platform to speak out on issues affecting our society, including supporting Black-owned businesses. Christian rapper and soon-to-be OWN's Young & Gospel star Wande is one of many artists leaning on her influence to push a positive agenda for Black entrepreneurs and business life in our communities.
The Nigerian-born, Texas-based hip-hop artist made her record label debut back in 2019 with her song, "Blessed Up," which has been recently re-released as a remix to celebrate all of her success in the music business. Riding on that momentum and our current reality of fighting for racial justice in America, Wande is hoping to use her platform of fans and followers to raise more awareness and generate support for Black-owned establishments in and surrounding the greater Atlanta area. As a young Black entrepreneur herself, Wande is conscious that celebrating Black-owned businesses is crucial in uplifting our culture and changing the world's view of us.
The gospel rapper is the founder of The WIN Brand, which sells an array of merchandise, accessories, and beauty products. In addition to using her music videos, Wande is also generating a campaign around "I Will Not Be the Last" – a phrase coined by Vice President Kamala Harris – to empower other young, aspiring Black women entrepreneurs to continue their story.
"I decided to use my music videos to advocate for Black entrepreneurship," she tells 21Ninety. "As a rapper, my music videos are some of my most consumed media, and I thought it would be a great way to shed light on Black entrepreneurs to a mass audience while my fans are engaged."
In the music video for her "Blessed Up (Remix)" – featuring Lecrae and Mike Todd, Wande showcases several businesses with personal ties. Or has supported in the past – including Black Girls Chillin, Black Girls Believe, Kupcakerie, Portrait Coffee, Yada Events LLC, and many more.
In just a month, the video has garnered more than 250,000 views on YouTube as they continue to climb. Not only has Wande made a buzz with her latest campaign, but she also made headlines two years ago as the first female artist signed to her label, Reach Records.
The label was founded and is also home to Grammy-Award-winning gospel artist Lecrae. Through his label, Wande has released two EPs, Exit and The Decision. She's even managed to receive a co-sign from former First Lady Michelle Obama, who featured her music on her podcast's Vol. 1 playlist on Spotify.
The ultimate end goal for Wande's Black business campaign is to "shed a light on these businesses that are killing it but might not necessarily have the exposure to match the level of quality they're giving their customers," she says. "I want to give back in any way I can, from exposure to new business connections to potential new customers."
The young artist is continuing her campaign now using the hashtag #BlessedUpBusinesses on social media to champion support for Christian-owned businesses as well.