This week's cover story about aspiring rap mogul and alleged con-artist Shyan Selah begins with the epigraph, "Baby's momma/ Bring me drama/ But I ain't actin'/ I'm just laughin'/ Life is sport/ I'm the captain/ Of the team/ Love to dream/ Then my actions/Bring the cream," taken from the lyrics of a song by Selah titled "Hustla." Here's a video of Selah performing the tune last month at the Contour Lounge in downtown Seattle, backed by his band The Republic of Sound.
[Selah] considers himself an activist, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur. According to his website, he is the creator of an "entertainment conglomerate" called Brave New World, with entities devoted to music, promotions, publishing, media, and youth. But for all his moneymaking endeavors, Selah says his true passion is community service and youth mentoring, which he performs under the auspices of The Brave Foundation, a charitable spinoff of the record label.It's evident from the on-stage banter in the video clip above that Selah has a knack for public speaking. He tells a brief anecdote about the importance of hustle, using Kurt Rambis from the showtime-era L.A. Lakers dynasty to illustrate his point. He references his own experiences as an athlete (he played college football at Central Washington University alonside future Seahawks QB Jon Kitna) and concludes that hustle is "the ultimate talent."
"I'm in the business of inspiration," Selah says a week before the show during an interview at his home in Federal Way. "It's about choosing to get the most out of my life in the most positive way I can. That's really what my book is going to be about, and it's what my radio show is about."
Of course, Selah is also allegedly a hustler in the negative sense of the word:
...former Brave New World investors, a Jimi Hendrix-related charity with which Selah was once affiliated, Selah's daughter's grandfather, and the scorned mother of another of his children [claim that] Selah has hoodwinked them in order to obtain several hundred thousand dollars over the past decade.Click here to read the whole story: Hustle & Woe - Aspiring rap mogul Shyan Selah stands accused of fleecing Jimi Hendrix's best friend and his associates.
Along the way, Selah has racked up nearly $50,000 in unpaid child support; had his company's Hummer repossessed; been evicted twice; played a part in a bungled multimillion-dollar real-estate development; and been dropped from a record-distribution deal less than a month after the contract was signed. In short, Selah is accused of being anything but the hip-hop hero with the heart of gold he makes himself out to be.