Underground Hip Hop

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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 04/28/2012 06:21 PM

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As Undergroundhiphop.com (UGHH) approached its 10th anniversary,

company founder Adam Walder felt he had reached a crossroads. Although

UGHH was the leading source of independent hip-hop on the Internet,

company revenues remained small compared to major online music retailers.

The opening of a storefront in 2005 helped create new opportunities within the

music industry, but also proved to be a drain on company resources.

Adam was proud of the fact that his company had remained debt free

throughout its history. Now, he wondered if such a conservative financial

strategy was limiting its potential. UGHH desperately needed to hire

programmers, designers, and managers to keep up with new technological

developments and social trends, such as music downloads, blogs, and online

social networking. Yet the cost of running a bricks and mortar retail store left

little to invest in other areas of the business.

Despite these challenges, 2007 promised to be an interesting year. Adam had a

number of exciting new ideas for growing the business, ranging from

franchising opportunities to the creation of a reality TV show. The question

was, which should he pursue and how should he finance them.


In high school, Adam Walder worked part time as a music store clerk, where,

one day, he met a radio disk jockey from Rutgers University Radio. The station

transmitted to a 25-mile radius around New Brunswick, New Jersey, and, like

most college stations, offered an eclectic mix of content. Adam used the

opportunity to solicit a position at the station. Soon afterward, he found himself

hosting the “Monday B-Side,” a popular Monday night hip-hop program

broadcast between 10 PM and midnight.

After graduating high school in 1995, Adam attended Northeastern University

in Boston, Massachusetts, where he majored in business administration and

information technology. At first, he was eager to work at the Northeastern

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