Make It Happen

Kevin Liles rose from intern to president of Def Jam Records in only nine years. Today, at age thirty-seven, he is executive vice president of the Warner Music Group and has helped discover and direct the careers of stars such as Jay-Z and Ludacris.

Liles’ meteoric climb from urban street kid with hip-hop aspirations to one of the most successful and influential executives in the music industry is far more than a rags-to-riches story. It is a tribute to Liles’ incredible work ethic, wisdom and confidence in doing his thing his way — the hip-hop way.

“Every real success story in hip hop comes down to the same thing: someone who finds the will, focus and drive to achieve,” Liles writes in Make It Happen: The Hip-Hop Generation Guide to Success. “It doesn’t matter if you are male or female. It doesn’t matter what race or religion you are. It doesn’t matter what hustle you choose.” What does matter, Liles says, is that you fight against the odds to realize a dream and be the best that you can be. You empower yourself and make it happen.

Kevin Liles presents ten rules of business success, which range from “Find Your Will” and “The Blueprint” to “Don’t Let Cash Rule” and “Play Your Position.” As he outlines his philosophy, Liles shares how he put his principles to work, chronicling his journey to the top and the stories of others — executives, artists, mentors and friends — he has worked with along the way.

Make It Happen is both an American success story and a guidebook for the road to having a career and a life you love.

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3 Responses to “Make It Happen Reviews”

  • J. Lewis "Cash Rules Everything Around Me" says:
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    , December 12, 2006

    I had been waiting for a success book to be written for the hip hop generation by the hip hop generation, along came Kevin Liles.

    Given Kevin’s high position in the music industry he was able to give insight from on the hustle it took to get there and the hustles hes observed of others. Might I add that that point in itself, his observation of others hustles, is what saved this book from being an autobiography (that wouldnt be a bad thing anyways).

    Normaly I dont like too many stories in success books but Kevin is definitly the exception. From lessons learned playing Guts with Lebron James to that reasoning behind his reaction to Dame Dash barking on him on the infamous scene of The HardKnock Life Tour.

    The one thing I like about this book also is that it wasnt all about getting money. It wasnt materialistic as most success books. Work hard, play hard seems to be able to sum up his philosophy.

    The principles and attitudes Kevin shares arent simply for someone hoping to make it big in music either, they can be applied in anywhere.

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  • mediaagent "mediaagent" says:
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    GREAT BOOK…, March 10, 2006
    By 
    mediaagent “mediaagent” (New York, New York) –

    I was skeptical at first, thinking that it was another book in which the author boasts about how great they are. That said, I was proven wrong, (which goes to show, you CAN’T judge a book by it’s cover). I wish that I had a book like this when I was younger, one that illustrated exactly how one should embrace their career.

    Mr. Liles was definitely a go-getter who made his own destiny happen. Throughout his journey, Kevin illustrates his determination to learn the business; he lived and breathed hip-hop, it is something he has to be a part of. You get to see and understand his success as well as what he considers his blunders (which are minimal)and the lessons he learned in making them. All while climbing to the top of Def Jam Records.

    I suggest that if you are looking for a gift for that up and coming graduate (High Schooler, College Grad), especially one who seems to be heading toward the creative path, I would purchase this book for them. I stand corrected, I would purchase this book for anyone who clearly wants to understand what it takes to get to the top (whether it’s through a company if not their own business).

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  • Gian Fiero says:
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    MAKE IT HAPPEN IN ANY INDUSTRY WITH THIS BOOK!, November 19, 2005
    By 
    Gian Fiero (Los Angeles, California) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    Kevin Liles, the former intern, Def Jam president, and current executive vice president of Warner Music Group, makes his run for what will be his most coveted position yet: motivational speaker for the hip-hop generation. It’s a role that he is personally and professionally qualified to flourish in. Using lessons learned during his mischevious, but disciplined teen years as a budding entrepreneur in Baltimore, and conflict encountered while at the helm of Def Jam and Warner, he demonstrates how to overcome adversity; face unexpected challenges; deal with difficult people; stand out from your co-workers; advance in your position; be true to who you are; find your real passion; build your own brand; and use your money wisely.

    While the majority of this book emphasizes personal development and achieving corporate results with a hip-hop attitude, it’s important to note that this is NOT a book on how to succeed in the music business (though it will certainly be of tremendous benefit to any aspiring music industry professional), this is a book on how to “make it happen” in any industry. It just happens to contain valuable insight on how to get your hustle on in the music biz. Most importantly it offers something of much greater value to the young hip-hop generation: tools for introspection and a mental and moral compass that can be used to navigate their way through life and business. It’s an admirable accomplishment that will undoubtedly establish Kevin Liles as the Les Brown of hip-hop. Buy it for yourself or an abmitious young adult in your life.

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