Ani Sanyal is an entrepreneur and philanthropist from New York City, the founder of the advertising and marketing agency, Green Room Creative … and a lover of hip-hop. To read more about Ani, check out our #1000COSIGNs piece on him here.

Here are the three albums, in his own words, that helped shape Ani as an entrepreneur:

Jay-Z – “Reasonable Doubt” – “No pun intended but this was the blueprint. Jay gave us the 360° view of what it felt like to step out on your own and do something you believe in. He gave insight into the realities of the game; from navigating business deals, to falling out with partners, to reinvesting your money and more. I can keep going, but this was huge for my development.”


“Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star”– “This album made me really fall in love with hip-hop. Songs like “K.O.S. (Determination)” and “Thieves in the Night” made it cool to be intelligent and rap. It pushed me to embrace knowledge as my competitive advantage in a world where I had very little footing. Imagine hearing the line “Life without knowledge is death in disguise … ” when you’re 13-14 years old. That was empowering.”


Nipsey Hussle – “Crenshaw” – “Musically, this album isn’t my top three, but it’s one that deeply impacted me as a businessman. Nipsey’s entire approach and roll out (pricing it at $100, going direct to consumer, building out a retail component, et cetera) was a reminder about the most important thing in entrepreneurship: Bet on yourself. He revitalized his career, pushed the conversation and challenged the status quo of the music industry with a single release. And the tape was hard.”



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