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purpose in business

Roy Scott: The Hip Hop Humanitarian – Joel Goldberg

Purpose / February 28, 2024

Purpose in business is one of the great keys to success. It’s true no matter what you do for a living, but especially for entrepreneurs. Not a single successful business owner has built their business in a straight line from start to finish. There’s just no such thing.

As someone who makes his living from storytelling, I’ve learned that the twists, turns and even setbacks are the great equalizers. What makes them so human is that they don’t discriminate. I feel privileged to help people share their stories, whether I’m playing the role of sports broadcaster, podcast host or keynote speaker.

More unique is the ways people choose to deal with the inevitable struggles they encounter on their journey. I recognize that not all challenges are created equal. But the people who are able to overcome them time and time again are the ones who have found purpose. In business, in baseball and everything in between.

One recent guest turned a gut-wrenching  setback into a springboard towards something bigger than he ever could have imagined. And he did it by remembering his why…his purpose in business.

Because of it, today he is more than just a big-time entrepreneur. He’s a hip hop humanitarian who is dropping beats that lift up the leaders of tomorrow.

Roy Scott is a living transformation story who took his art from the block to the boardroom, (w)rapping tech, music and movement into one positively unique experience. He’s the CEO and music producer infusing culture into education through his groundbreaking platform, Healthy Hip Hop.

By leveraging the power of rhythm and rhymes, it delivers content kids want mixed with the messaging they need, setting the state for empowered living everywhere.

SINGLE: A Powerful Purpose 

Music is a powerful influence. Whatever genre you gravitate towards, it always brings a certain cultural element that shapes your identity. Roy Scott, like so many of his peers in the urban neighborhood he grew up in, gravitated toward hip hop.

His interest was first sparked in middle school. “I was a good kid. Was an athlete. I actually had three Division One offers to play [basketball],” he reflected. But as he grew, so did his love of music.

By the time he graduated high school, he was putting out music by the street name of Mac James. This persona who played into the hardcore underground influences of Kansas City’s thriving music scene. And instead of pursuing higher education, Roy  decided to focus on his craft. He said, “I trashed those opportunities…to rap, of all things. That just shows you where my mindset was.”

The lightbulb moment came years later when he had three-year-old son of his own. “I was taking him home from school, and I looked at him repeating my music,” he remembered. He began to understand the influence his music was having on his son, and the messages it conveyed.

He turned off the radio.

In that moment, Roy’s purpose in business had been found. It inspired him to leverage the swag and urban beat of hip hop culture, mixed with lyrics that promote positivity.

“Now the cool thing about what I’m doing is I get to be authentically me,” he told me. “I get to be Roy Scott.”

DOUBLE: Shark Bite 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the rapidly expanding media concept now known as Healthy Hip Hop.

After Roy found his purpose in business, he landed a deal on the ABC hit Shark Tank.

Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary bought a 50% stake in the company in exchange for a $500,000 investment. It was a huge windfall that would position Healthy Hip Hop to not only build out its tech platforms, but scale in a way they hadn’t had the capital to before.

But in the process of due diligence Roy received a devastating phone call. ABC’s parent company Disney saw him as a threat. And such a big one that it didn’t just pull the Shark Tank offer…it refused to even air the episode.

“[It was] The best and worst validation,” he said of the experience. Obviously he was on to something. At the same time, he just lost prime time exposure to 7 million viewers, which was equivalent of roughly $2M in advertising space. The ordeal also cost him his business partner, who couldn’t move past the betrayal.

Roy had expected Shark Tank to be his game changer. It wasn’t until later that he realized it actually was…just not the way he expected. It was a painful experience that course corrected everything that came after.

He studied the giants in every industry, learning what they did and how they did it.  “A week after that, I came back with a plan,” Scott shared. “I said, we have to pivot in the tech space with our content, create our own network, our own platform, and our own special sauce.”

At the same time, he aggressively pursued non-dilutive grants and programs available in Kansas City’s rich entrepreneurial community. He build a business model, perfected a marketing strategy and raised capital.

In short, he learned the lesson. “It took me years to do that,” he said. “But it’s been worth it. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

TRIPLE: The Ultimate Dream 

One of my favorite questions to ask podcast guests is what they dreamed of doing when they grew up. The answers always intrigue me because more often than not, the things they are doing now would were unfathomable.

Jobs that people do now didn’t exist back then. It was certainly true for me. My dream was always to be a sports broadcaster. But as a kid, there were no Pre- or Post-Game shows.

I asked Roy this question, and his response was simultaneously simple and extraordinarily complex. “The better dream that I had was having a family,” he told me.

As a child of divorce, he had always wanted his parents together. To break that cycle and give his kids the things he didn’t have would be the ultimate accomplishment. His dream wasn’t fame or fortune. It was simple luxuries like a stable home, a focus on education and parental guidance.

In the same way I never could have imagined becoming the Pre- and Post-Game host for Kansas City Royals baseball, Mac James from the inner city never could have imagined his purpose in business was to be a platform of positivity for the next generation.

“Healthy hip hop was a byproduct of that,” Roy said. “My  ultimate dream is fulfilled.”

HOME RUN: Embracing the Moment

Healthy Hip Hop is one of those stories that experienced the highest highs and lowest lows, yet still managed to persist. A strong sense of purpose is the fuel that keeps entrepreneurs going when times get tough. But what is the takeaway from it all?

“What I’ve learned is just to embrace the moment,” Roy shared. Sure, he has milestones and timelines that were set to help him grow. But for those who have found their purpose in business, the work becomes less about hitting targets. Instead, it’s about the impact you’re making.

“This is a lifetime journey,” he so aptly said. “That’s one of the biggest learning lessons.”

Listen to the full interview here or tune in to Rounding the Bases every Tuesday, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Learn More About Purpose in Business from Joel 

Book Joel Goldberg for your next corporate event. He draws on over 25 years of experience as a sports broadcaster. In addition, he brings unique perspectives and lessons learned from some of the world’s most successful organizations. Whatever your profession, Joel is the keynote speaker who can help your team achieve a championship state of mind.

Book Now 

Full Transcript:

Joel Goldberg 0:19
Hey everybody, welcome into another episode of Rounding the Bases presented by Community America Credit Union: Investing In You. The guy that I have on my podcast today is investing in a lot of people, especially the younger generation, more on him in just a moment. Just want to let everyone know that if you are in the market for a job if you’re looking to hire someone, if you’re looking for a resource that understands everything, with also a great office, good people, good vibe, check out my friends at Chief of Staff Kansas City. You see Casey Wright, their president and I do a lot of stuff together on social media, just really happy to partner with them. I know my guest knows Casey and some of the people over there as well. So just want to let everybody know to check them out chiefofstaff kc.com. Making connections that matter. As I often say on this podcast, I’ve made a lot of connections over the years because of my speaking and podcasting business. And my guest today is one of them. Back when we met he lived in Kansas City and have lived here certainly longer than me. I’m a transplant but he’s moved on now and doing incredible things. Our guest today, I’d like to call him a hip hop humanitarian, dropping beats that lift up the leaders of tomorrow. He’s a living transformation story who took his art from the block to the boardroom, (w)rapping tech music and movement into one positively unique experience. Roy Scott is the CEO and music producer infusing culture in the education through his groundbreaking platform, Healthy Hip Hop. By leveraging the power of rhymes and rhythm, he delivers the content kids want mixed with the messaging they need. Setting the stage for empowered living everywhere. Let’s take a quick listen to Roy.

Roy Scott 2:10
My teacher, can you help me with my writing? So you’ll never ever be from beside me? Because I need help with my homework. Gotta keep my grades up.

Joel Goldberg 2:22
And I am happy right now, that is just the smallest bit of healthy hip hop, healthy Roy, I think Rappin’ Roy. And I’m joined right now by a man who is much more than a music artist and a producer. He is a big time entrepreneur, Roy Scott, how are you my friend?

Roy Scott 2:48
Man, I’m outstanding. And let me tell you what, that intro was off the chain. I really appreciate it and the your intro song. Was that AY? I think it sounds like AY.

Joel Goldberg 2:56
Yeah, see? You know, you know, it’s such a small community, isn’t it? Like I don’t I don’t know your music community. But I met AY and interviewed him on the podcast years ago before he was, you know, traveling all around the world. And he said, let me do a song for you. And I thought wow, so you know AY made this theme song, which sometimes my kids will walk around the house singing it kind of kind of given me a little bit of grief. But it’s it’s amazing. I bring all that up because I think this is true for everybody certainly in entrepreneurship. But when you add in the crazy world of music, and this journey for you, I think is as fascinating as anybody that I have met and we’ll go through it, but how good is life for you right now?

Roy Scott 3:39
Oh, man its great. I’m just enjoying every moment of it. Like I said, it’s been a it’s been a challenging one, but an incredible one. And so getting to live my purpose, I’m getting to impact children and, and build a legacy for my family. So everything is really well.

Joel Goldberg 3:53
Let’s, let’s do this. Let’s start with what it is. And then I want to go back because I mean, there are more twists and turns for this thing. We can make a mini series out of it and the ups and the downs and the lessons learned it is it is the ultimate in entrepreneurship and music for that matter, I think, too, because we always think it’s gonna be this and it’s usually something else that we couldn’t have foreseen. Tell me what healthy hip hop is. I know I’ve heard you, kind of talking to you, some Sesame Street references. We’re in a different world now. Tell, tell me what healthy hip hop is?

Roy Scott 4:29
Well, hip, healthy hip hop is hip hop for children and families. So the big picture for us is to become an iconic children’s brand. So we say an urban Disney or the Sesame Street of the 21st century. Essentially what we’re doing is taking the hip hop beat that we know that kids love and that parents love and just putting a positive message over for children. And our value proposition has always been we don’t water it down. So we’re still like the same energy vibe of the culture. But it’s all cleaned up because we know it’s the voice of our youth. So it started with music, and now we evolve to a tech company. So we have a mobile application, such as Spotify meets TikTok for Children and Families. You can download that now, stream the music. Also create these TikTok style videos in a safe environment for kids. And then we have an online platform for educators where they have our content and resources that they put on their smart boards. So started with just the music evolved to a tech company. But again, the big picture is to become an iconic children’s brand, the urban Disney.

Joel Goldberg 5:27
Yeah, and you know, what’s amazing to me about it is I mean, you told me this, when we first did an interview, I don’t know, six years ago, something like that. And so the goals are, I’m not saying they’re exactly the same, but you’re still trying to get to where you’re going. You’ve come so far, but yet, I think as is always the case, in entrepreneurship, you have so far to go that you’re always chasing it, right? I mean, it never really stops. This is all part of the journey. Is it not?

Roy Scott 5:55
Right now? 100% I think that’s one of the biggest learning lessons, I was just thinking about this, honestly, earlier. That’s ironic that you say that it’s just, you learn that it’s just a life journey. It’s a lifetime. You committed to this for all your life, right? So it’s not like, you think, Okay, well, I’m gonna hit this certain milestone or hit this certain amount of revenue, amount of impact, and, and, you know, try to put timeframes on it. But what I’ve learned is to just embrace the moment. And this is a lifetime journey. So of course, you know, you want to set goals, and you want to, you know, have certain timelines, but what I’ve learned many of the times, my timelines have been off. So, like, I’ve just been embracing this, it’s a lifelong journey for me, and I’m just passionate about it.

Joel Goldberg 6:41
It’s, I often say that entrepreneurship is sort of like the growth chart for your kids. And you can’t really see how much they’ve grown. But when you look back, and you look at the wall, and you say, oh, my gosh, look at how much higher the line is, it just doesn’t feel like in the moment. The difference is that in entrepreneurship, you might lose some of that height along the way and have to climb back up. And that’s a major part of your journey. Before we get into that. I think that’s, that’s a piece of the story that everyone gravitates towards. We’ll tease that out and say that there was a, there was a Shark Tank appearance. But I want to go back to the beginning. Because there’s no way when you got into music, that you could sit there and think I’m going to be the I’m going to be the dad, I’m going to be a father figure that is influencing the kids to do good things in life. Because you’re on a totally opposite track than that. I almost feel like and I don’t know that this is right. I almost feel like that was a different person, different character. I mean, you are who you are, like, you’re not a made up person. But I almost feel like and part of performing and entertainment is is playing a little bit of a role, then still figuring out how to how to be authentic and true to yourself. But I think and then you push back over you want, I think that who you were, then that’s who you were, it’s completely unlike who you are today. Tell me about that character, that person Roy in the early years, because it’s not who we’re hearing right now.

Roy Scott 8:15
100%. And you’re right, that was a character. And now the cool thing about what I’m doing is I get to be just authentically me I get to be Roy Scott, I don’t have to, you know, put on any type of character or any of that it’s just authentic. So going way back, you know, when I was a kid, I just love hip hop music, love the culture. And my dad actually was in a band in Kansas City is called The Tottom Line Band. So they played around Kansas City, regionally, did some national stuff too. So always just loved music, and so had that fire for music and then enter like my middle school high school when I started rapping. You know, we were – in Kansas City – unique, where we’ve kind of got in the hip hop space, a really deep like kind of Bay Area, underground influence. And so a lot of it was like gangsta rap and like hardcore music that I was consuming, and it started shaping my identity. And so I was like, Okay, I’m gonna put out this hardcore rap music in Kansas City and I went by Mac James. So at that time, it wasn’t Roy Scott, it was just Mac James. Chop It Up, Click, and I actually was on the same label as Tech N9ne. We were on Midwest Records when he first started and so this is back when Diamond Shields, so Diamond Shields is just like the Kansas City version of Masterpiece. He was like the one who was hustling in the streets and had all his money for his hustle money that he was putting into the music. He had all the best talent. So fast forward you know, I started rapping and doing the Mac James thing. Put out a few projects independently connected with Diamond Shields and Tech N9ne and now you know, okay, things are really ramping up. And this is right after high school for me. So I came out like 18, 19. Just dropped my first project. And that’s that was this character you’re talking about and Mac James that was his persona I had that honestly wasn’t really me. You know, I was I was a good kid. I was an athlete, I actually had three division one offers to play in Mizzou, Texas Southern, and even Iowa. And it’s ironic enough, we’ll get to that my son’s in Iowa State. And I’ve trashed those opportunities to play basketball, which I still love to this day, to rap and you know, of all things. And so that just shows you where my mindset was that I just didn’t have the focus. I mentioned I don’t want to be too long winded but you know, my dad how much I loved and looked up to him. But it was kind of like, you know, that’s song Papa Was A Rolling Stone? That was probably right. And so I wasn’t getting the best, like, advice and engagement until. Oh, man, because he actually was a world class athlete. He played football for MU, actually. That’s how I got to Kansas. He’s from New York, and went to MU to play football. There’s a Liberty Bowl back in the late 70s, early 80s. But fast forward, Papa was a Rolling Stone. It wasn’t give me the right advice. So I started rapping instead of going further my education and play sports. And that was this persona, Mac James. It was gangsta rap artists, I’m with Tech N9ne, I’m with, you know, Diamond. Show them what’s a real street cats doing this stuff. And the light bulb moment for me was me having my son and me wanting to be sure that I everything I didn’t have, I want it to be for him. And so in that journey, is when I seen him repeat my music, and I was deep into music. And he was probably about three years old or so. And I looked at him and I was I was getting him from school, taking him home from school and I looked at him repeating my music, I turn my radio off. And that was just my lightbulb. Like, I knew how impactful and influential music and hip hop culture was on me. And I’ll refuse to be that on my son. And so that’s what inspired me to create a change and helped me hip hop was born. And the beautiful thing about it is now I can still, I still got the music, I still got the swag and the energy, but I’m just raw. I don’t have to be a persona. I don’t have to be any made up character. I’m just me. And I represent, you know, positivity, fatherhood, entrepreneurship. I’m representing all the, you know, positive things through hip hop culture.

Joel Goldberg 12:10
You know it, there’s so many layers to this story that are amazing to me. Because I think, look, let’s take Tech N9ne, for instance. I mean, anyone that is a fan of rap and hip hop would know Tech N9ne, certainly here in Kansas City. Anybody would know Tech N9ne, right? I had him on my podcast a couple of years ago. And one of the I’ve actually still never met Tech in person, which is weird, because I’m sure we’ve been at the same event. And we just, it’s just never clicked. We know who each other is and all that. But the reason why I wanted to have him on, among many things, was that. Like how at 50 years old, when I interviewed him, I think he was 50 or 51. I think he’s 52. Now, how are you still doing it? Like, you know, music in general, I don’t care what the genre is, like groups that were relevant in the 80s or 90s, that are still doing music today. They’re, they’re the greatest of outliers. And so that was kind of why I wanted to have him on. And he was gracious enough to do an hour from his tour bus with me. But what really stood out to me and I actually sometimes run this clip in some of my keynote speeches, is that he said that he had wanted to be a psychiatrist when he was growing up. And they didn’t teach that in his class. So he stole the books, and he started it. And then in the end, he found that with music…dance and then music, that kids fans come up to him regularly and say that your, your, your lyrics from this song saved my life, you’re this and that. It was like, Wow, I did become that, that psychiatrists for them. My point on it, Roy is that, like, there’s no way that we know when we start these journeys, where they’re gonna go, and oftentimes, they go places that are even better than we could have ever imagined. So going back to that young, that young Roy Scott and that persona. You’re not sitting there thinking I want to influence kids in an educational way. And then you have that aha moment, with your son Justus, and everything changes for you. When did that purpose, not just the influence of your son? When did that purpose start to kick in and say, Wait a minute, I’ve got an even better dream than what I had.

Roy Scott 14:29
Yeah, it was, well, the better dream that I had was having a family. You know, I was raised in a broken family. As I mentioned, Papa was a Rolling Stone. Love him. I have no judgment because my parents did the best they could, right? And, but I know ever since I could remember my first memories was I wanted a family unit. I wanted my mom and my dad together, right? So my dream was the bigger dream was how do I keep my family together? You know, how do I provide a family unit for my son so Of course, healthy hip hop was a byproduct of that. And I’m excited about that. But ultimately, it was like family, this was my biggest dream. And so in the pursuit of that, and as you know, as a husband, as a dad, like, that is also my biggest challenge. And so, ultimately, it was in my pursuit of that, and also my pursuit of faith, that I don’t talk about a whole bunch, but people who know me know like my pursuit of God and family. Healthy hip hop was a byproduct of that. So my ultimate dream is fulfilled. I have a, I have a family, you know, me, the opportunity I missed to go to college, I made sure my son didn’t miss that. I made sure he understood the importance of education. Now, he’s not playing ball there, which he could be. He’s at Iowa State, because he’s, he’s talented enough. But right now he’s there on an academic scholarship, he has GWC, the George Washington Carver Scholarship, which I didn’t know this at the time. But George Washington Carver was the first black student to graduate from Iowa State. So they have a whole scholarship in his name. So he has a full ride academic scholarship. So saying that to say, I was making sure that I wanted to provide him what I didn’t have. And now that dream has come true, I have that family unit like and my kids appreciate that, you know, my wife similar, she comes from also a broken family like we are. The dream was to really break some of these old, you know, generation I want to call them generational curses, but generally are things that didn’t go right for us. How we can set it right for this next generation. So that was also my ultimate dream was my family. And God and healthy hip hop was a byproduct of that.

Joel Goldberg 16:30
While you’ve broken the cycle, and now it’s not just that, you’re breaking your own family cycle, your family and your wife’s, you’re breaking it for others with that influence, you’re going into other people’s homes, and helping with their kids in the most positive way. I love to I got to encourage everybody to follow Roy on Instagram. I mean, everywhere of course, because he sees so much of the content and so much of who he is as a man and I love I love the helped me out with the saying that the morning routine or the morning…?

Roy Scott 17:04
So I do a in that, you know, and like you said I was just I’ve been trying to be more outward of like, just showing what I do with my family. So I did affirmations with my son and it just got organically a million views that I got. And it’s something I do with my son in the morning. Excuse me, I take him to school. You know, did we do our daily affirmations? A kind of a little phrase I made up with him like Are you ready, you know, focused and ready to learn. And we kind of go through a few other things and just posted on Instagram got like a million views and, and so yeah, that type of stuff just want to really be intentional about how I’m raising my children out and how often to move on purpose. And so a lot of the things again, I didn’t have and wasn’t doing as a child. I was just kind of out there just drifting. And I know kids are you know, we’re humans, we’re gonna be kids, we’re gonna make mistakes, etc. But I want them to have that foundation of listen to this move with attention out with this move on purpose and let’s move in love like this move without judgment. And so I’m just honored to I guess it was crazy saying is that you? I don’t think I’ve ever talked about the interviews bringing them out on me is like that was my ultimate dream was my family.

Joel Goldberg 18:15
It’s beautiful. And it’s interesting you say that because I got when I when I talk to audiences, you know, my goal is to help motivate them, right? Motivational speaker, I’m not like a cheesy whatever the motivational line of you know, you’re you know, like looking into the mirror Daily Affirmation Saturday Night Live stuff, but, but, but I always start with at the bare minimum, the dream is to take care of your loved ones. And then it’s once you can do that, or in order to do that, you hopefully can find some purpose in something else you do. And so you look, I’m pretty sure that whatever it would have taken, you’re going to do whatever, if that wasn’t healthy hip hop, whatever it was to break the cycle and take care of your family, the fact that you are doing it with something you’re so passionate about, just makes it even easier to get up for work every day. And that’s a hard thing to find. Like you know, I I get to go talk about baseball every day. And then I get to get on stage and make an impact in people’s lives. I’m so lucky because most people don’t have that passion for what they do. That’s more rare. You’re finding that but it didn’t come easy. It never does. So let’s let’s tell the story for those that haven’t heard it. Because you were on your way. And you dazzled everybody on Shark Tank. What year was this and take us through kind of who was involved in what happened?

Roy Scott 19:40
Yeah, so that was…we pitched on Shark Tank, fall of 2015 going into 2016. And so even a step back part that it was like when I got out of doing the street rap stuff in Kansas City and you know, re-focus, re-strategize myself. Started doing performances in Kansas City with the music and schools and communities. And then it grew to like, Okay, again, this picture of this new age, Sesame Street urban Disney creating characters, content, curriculum, found success in the school systems and started taking that path. So during that though, I also was like, Okay, how do we raise capital for this? And so Shark Tank came up and everybody, you should go, you know, everybody’s saying you should go on Shark Tank. I’m like, Okay, well, do you got a connection from it? So at the time, I did some research and there was two ways to get on Shark Tank, I think it’s the same now, you can submit an email submission, which they clearly tell you, we rarely respond to these. So don’t. Good luck. And the other one was they do these live casting calls. So at the time, my business partner was a magician, Reggie Reg the Magic Man. And I said, Listen, I’m sending this email in and if they don’t respond to the email, I’m just gonna, we’re gonna go down to Houston. In fact that was at Rice University, we’re gonna go we’re gonna drive to Houston because we were already traveling the country performing everywhere. We’re going to drive to Houston and go to this casting call. So we had two shows, because our main business driver before we got into the technical space, and streaming was not events. So we did two shows in Lawrence, Kansas. And after the second show my phone rings and I noticed it’s a 310 area code, which is California. I’m like, okay, so I answered the Shark Tank. They go we want to learn more. So fast forward, I go through all the process. We pitch on Shark Tank. We close the deal with Kevin O’Leary. Mr. Wonderful, for those who are familiar with the show, so you can think about it, like healthy hip hop. Mr. Wonderful. I don’t think any when we went on a pitch we were never thinking okay, Mr. Wonderful is a fit. We were thinking maybe Daymond John. Daymond John was not on our episode, so that was not an option. And we’re thinking maybe Mark Cuban. Mark Cuban’s in sports entertainment. So we’d never even mentioned Mr. Wonderful. So we go through the pitch. Everybody starts backing out and we kill the pitch. Now at the time, we had two puppets Hip and Hop, kinda like Burt and Ernie. We had Hip and Hop on the set. We brought kid dancers, it was a full like production in the matter of like, usually, they’re like their pitches are like about 90 seconds. Ours is probably about two minutes, two and a half minutes. So Mr. Wonderful resonates with us because it hey, listen, I’ve been in the education space. I didn’t know this at the time. But Oregon Trail, one of the first ever like, kids educational computer games, that’s his property. Carmen San Diego that was another one of as was mentioned, and easy’s oxide, okay, it’s been in this space. And then also, he knew the founders of The Wiggles. And that’s how we kind of reference some of our stuff to like The Wiggles and Wiggles was like this big time kid group that was out to Australia. He knew their whole business model. He was like, listen, they did a TV pilot. It went, got picked up by public access television in London, and boom, they’ve been doing half a billion in revenue. He knew the founders, and it was like, listen. He didn’t want anything to do with it. But just start a Kids TV show because he knew The Wiggles, they knew that space. So we say deal’s done. It was a half a million dollar deal for 50% of just our kids TV property. We had a different business model at the time. And we knew more important and even then his deal was the national exposure. At that time Shark Tank was getting 7 million viewers per episode. So boom, get the deal done, or not done. We get the deal, approved on Tech TV, and not even didn’t even air so we wouldn’t get to that part we’ll get to for the filming purposes to get it approved. Start the due diligence. That was against September of 2015. March of 2016. About six months later, 3.16 Also John 3:16. I’ll talk about the fake stuff. Get the call on 3.16. That’s how I remember the day that Oh, Roy, I want you to you guys did an incredible job. But unfortunately, your episode is not going to air. And so my heart fell to my foot and I’m like, What did you? What do you mean? Kind of gave me some crap. Oh, this lots got full. So I emailed Alex Kenji. He’s the CEO of O’Leary Ventures. That’s what we did. I started our due diligence with and he’s like, listen, Roy, can I talk to you off the record? I’m like, Well, of course. And he says, Well, you guys got screwed, except he used a little bit harsher language than that. And he was like, you know, unfortunately, your episode got blocked because of Hollywood politics. ABC, the network that Shark Tank comes on, is owned by Disney. It looked at your children’s programming as competition. Welcome to Hollywood, we’re told. So you know, the best and worst validation. Disney sees this as a threat. But we just lost our national exposure. We’re thrown in the trash can. So that was a really make or break moment because at that point, it’s like what do we do next? And then that’s when the pivot to the tech came. So I was like, how do we scale this company? And that’s when I got deep in entrepreneur resources that Kansas City had to offer, told this story and was able to raise about $150,000 in non-dilutive grants in KC, do multiple programs to build this technical side. So now we can position ourselves for scale with the new business model. So it was a little bit long winded, but that’s kind of the short version of what happened and how that propelled us into this new direction. And we’ve been kind of moving and grooving ever since.

Joel Goldberg 25:03
The long version of the story is a worthwhile one to hear. And I know that you’re capable of the short version when needed, because you know how to make a pitch. And sometimes you don’t have that you got plenty more time on this platform in this podcast, but it’s an important one to hear. Because you name me one successful entrepreneur that has gone on a straight line from start to finish. There’s no such thing, which is kind of the way life is too. It’s the way baseball, is it’s the way I mean, on and on. Right? And so I’m sure that there was a period of why and this isn’t fair. And all of that, however long that took him and I’m sure it was almost a like a grieving like a loss for you, right? I mean, this this was, I mean, this was a sucker punch, because you were sure you were on your way. Why wouldn’t you be and then you just get punched in the gut like that?

Roy Scott 25:55
Yeah, it was. I can smile about it now. But at the time, it definitely felt like a loss. It felt like a grieving. I was grieving a loss. It was, can you talk about mountain high valley low again, we’re gonna get exposure to 7 million viewers. I think they did the math, it was equivalent to about 2 million in ad space on ABC, you know, that’s what this is equivalent to. The eyeballs are gonna get to the traction to also some moves we made on the back end there to make sure the website was right to make sure the merchant. Took out, like a $20,000 on loan. I was $20,000 was also in the red now behind that. So definitely. And then also, I mentioned that my business partner, bless him, we don’t we’re not working together anymore. But that at that point, that, you know, we made the split because it was like I said, Okay, look, here’s the plan, you know, so for the agreement process for that one, that was a long as I typically when something tough happens. I’m a day Max, I’m like, I’ll give myself a day to like, but you know, punch the air, get mad, go to the gym, whatever. This was probably about a week goes to be about seven days. This is a really big one. But after that week, I came back with a plan. I was like, Look, here’s what we’re gonna do. We, I was looking at every industry. I knew what was happening in the technical space across the board. So if that was, you know, the automotive space, you’re looking at Uber, you know, Lyft, Turo, whoever was creating innovation, innovative software, they were scaling it that’s it may even go tell them about it. That’s the film industry. So I’m on Netflix, Hulu, et cetera. Everybody, whoever. And those are the big dogs, you got some smaller folks who people don’t know about that we’re still doing, you know, millions in revenues. I said, we have to pivot to the tech space with our content, create our own network, our own platform, and our special sauce with the content. But I was like, I’m a non-technical founder, but I want to get in this tech space. But here’s how we do it. There was a Kauffman Fast Track program in Kansas City I went through, which led into Launch KC, which is a $50,000 grant for for tech companies. There was the Reigner Institute Challenge, Lean Lab Education at the time. So I told him, I told Reggie at the time look, we’re gonna do this. Now, we may not get all of them. But if we do, that’s 100. And like, $50,000, and funding on top of us continuing doing our performances and making revenue. And it was just like, he was like, Nah, man, like, he was a big blow because he got we got the news like, right before he was about to get married. You know, our families knew it was just so so understood that our priests are accepted that, but I pressed forward and ended up getting every one of those that I mentioned. So we still we got about your $150,000. And on top of that, like the complement factor, one of the biggest ones, it taught me so many, basically had to go through the ABCs of business. Because we were just going off sheer like, you know, tenacity, just grit just, you know, charisma. I didn’t have a strong business model, business model. So it really taught me that okay, who is my customer? What is my business model? What is my go to market strategy? If I’m raising capital do I have all the assets in line as far as pitch decks, executive summaries, you name it top to bottom, so it was almost like a crash course, right? To learn, okay. And I’ve been doing that ever since. And now since I’ve done that, I have all the assets in place. I have the technology now completely built, prepared for scale. I have the content there. I have you know, the team. It took me years to do that. But it was really like you said you take this but then it was just hold on for dear life. But it’s been it’s been worth it. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Joel Goldberg 29:29
No, it’s incredible. And I know that you know, one of the big jumps that you and your wife and your kids they were you know, now Justus is in college and you still have your two younger ones that at home all that all the J’s by the way, too. Right? Justus, Jazzy and Jordan I think, right?

Roy Scott 29:46
Yes, sir.

Joel Goldberg 29:48
But you made a move from Kansas City. Kansas City that that that’s your home, that’s your safe place, right. That’s what you know. Now, now you’re hobnobbing around the country with the big wigs by the way, I think. I think that my wife if she were to walk in right now, I’d say yeah, Roy’s, you know, he’s hanging out with Michael Jordan. And she’d say which one? It doesn’t matter whether it’s Michael Jordan or Michael B. Jordan, those are two favorite. You know, she’d rather hang out with them than me. But you know, you’re hobnobbing with the Michael B. Jordan’s of the world. You’re in the in New York as we speak, you’re living in the hotbed of I think, Atlanta, which is a, you know, a haven for for hip hop music. Tell me about that move of going down to Georgia. I know, it really gave you a lot of exposure to I think a lot of the funding that you’re talking about. Right?

Roy Scott 30:43
Right. Big time. Excuse me. They mentioned we’re in New York. So you may hear a little bit of sirens going by hopefully they passed it quickly. But um, yeah, so one of our, during our kind of that growth of going through the all these programs, and thinking about the past bothered me, one second. Sorry about that.

Joel Goldberg 30:59
It’s, it’s New York, I mean, you know, it’s uh…

Roy Scott 31:01
So one of the big things. So when I went through all those programs, we had got accepted into Tech Stars in Atlanta. And so this was the first inaugural social impact Tech Stars. So it was like companies that are venture companies, but also that are doing something good for the community, and doing good social impact. So when I went through that, and kind of got plugged in, again, there were some additional funding opportunities. And also with you know, hip hop, pretty much thriving in Atlanta, you know, we know was born here. Um, it was born in New York, but it’s thriving here in Atlanta. And so, thriving in Atlanta, I knew I had to kind of aligned myself with some of the right people when it came to, you know, the funding opportunities when it came to the partnerships when it came to other artists. And so making that jump was a big one. But I’ve always still, so I still got my home. And KC I’ve kind of been in and out. So I’ve been I’m in KC at least, you know, two weeks out pretty much every month, just just because of a lot of stuff. I’m already I’m still doing a Kansas City, and that’s my home, I want to do something special there. But ultimately, being in Atlanta, and also, like suddenly traveling the country has been able to kind of help us position for scale, because as you know, like Kansas City, if you can make it in Kansas City can make it anywhere. So all the things that we’ve done, there was like, the foundational really getting us in position to take this thing to, to a national stage. And just so much good stuff has happened in KC. You talking about the Chiefs, you’re talking about just overall the, you know, the tech landscape, the business landscape, like all the new development that’s happening in KC. So making that jump was critical for us. But we still have deep roots in the city.

Joel Goldberg 32:55
Before we get to the baseball theme questions what what’s next I mean, the the, the website, by the way, or the app, you can find the the app on the App Store or certainly through the website, healthy dot hip hop and you go on there, you’ll see exactly what all of this is about. I mean, this, this to me, it can be about an individual kid. It could be about a whole classroom, it could be about a whole school. This is curriculum. I mean, this is big time stuff in a modern way, right? Sesame Street, if Sesame Street came out today, it would be geared towards YouTube and apps and all that well, when it came out when we were kids. And I’m older than you. But you know, you found it on PBS, you found it on on TV, this is the modern day now. What what’s next in terms of the evolution of healthy hip hop?

Roy Scott 33:46
One thing now it’s really about community building, we’ve been doing a lot in the background as far as like building out the businesses, the models and things like that. And now it’s about really building community around that. So getting children and families and moms and dads, you know, really behind this movement excited. We have done that, but now scaling this up to the next level. So that’s how we become the urban Disney. So it’d become this new way, Sesame Street and part of doing that is if you saying like Snoop Dogg got something called Doggyland, right? So we’re actually, I’ll be meeting with his team soon. Working with the likes of like hip hop parents, because this problem that I’ve seen is also a problem. They all seen his face, right. So healthy hip hop, I believe is like the hub of everything hip hop for children and families, but also activating through hip hop’s parents. So this new Drake, him got a kid. So imagine, once we get all these real hip hop parents to like, give us a healthy Hip Hop version of a song are different ways like that to build the exposure and their awareness. But now we have the platform to where we host all of that intellectual property, on our own stuff where we still are obviously put things on YouTube, or put things on, you know, Spotify, all these other platforms. But we created our own platform so we can control the algorithms, we can, you know, control the monetization, where that was one of the big challenges that even a lot of creators face now on YouTube like you can do, especially if you’re doing kids content, could you have to actually mark it as kids content, because I won’t get too deep in that, but they had a class action lawsuit A while back, there was like adult ads attached to kids content. So now, they make it harder to monetize it, right. So healthy hip hop is the hub for hip hop for children and families where we control also all of the backend stuff to make sure the content curation is right, and your kids aren’t exposed to the right or wrong things. But also, we can monetize it. And again, kind of create this whole Hip Hop hub of for children and families, but with the hip hop parents of today, really pushing this to build that community.

Joel Goldberg 35:54
So good. So good. It’s awesome. All right, let’s do baseball theme questions here. You got a lot to pick from, I’m pretty sure on my first two questions, what’s the biggest home run that you’ve hit professionally?

Roy Scott 36:06
Well, what I would say, because I’m here in New York right now, I will say the one of the biggest one I had professionally was winning the Legacy Classic Pitch Competition. So I’m doing kind of like, you know, I’m going on tour if I do a lot of speaking, I do a lot of pitching for the company to raise money, raise awareness. So winning the Legacy Classic Pitch Competition, connected us with Michael B. Jordan and his team. And so I actually had to come back because the Legacy Classic is, this is happening, they got a kickoff event tonight, and the games are tomorrow, over in Newark, New Jersey, that’s where he’s originally from. But winning that, being able to connect with his team, just that exposure, that type of, you know, validation, you know, in this in this day and age knows, that speaks to, you know, that, that kind of credibility. So that was a big home run for a home, you know, me, that’s a Grand Slam for it to make that happen. So that was really big time. And just to make these connections were making do that has been a game changer for us.

Joel Goldberg 37:03
You know, just hanging out with Michael B. Jordan, and no biggie. But but I’m mentioning that because obviously, that’s a huge deal. You also learn as you get along, you got to early exposure to this to what people in the rap scene in Kansas City, people are people and then it’s just once you get to know them, it’s a cool thing, for sure. But then you get to learn about who they are. And that’s an even better thing. Okay, how about a swing and a miss? And what did you learn from it?

Roy Scott 37:31
Well, the swing and the miss, I think kind of what we talked about the biggest swing and miss was the Shark Tank deal. We thought that for sure that was going to be our home run and it was a miss. And what I learned from that, kind of to piggyback on something what I was saying earlier is that what I learned from that was, I didn’t really have a strong business mind or business model, you know, I was just purely moving off or just, again, just gumption. Just will. And that’s a good thing to have, and to have that kind of tenacity and charisma. But also, I had to have the knowledge, I had to have the, you know, the systems, I had to have the full understanding of how I’m going to build a skill, a legitimate business. And so that was the biggest, you know, kind of swing and miss that I learned so much from that, again, kind of repositioned myself personally and professionally, to really, you know, reach my pinnacle, and then also be able to appreciate it that much more.

Joel Goldberg 38:31
And then the last one would the baseball theme questions Small Ball. What are the little things to you and to healthy hip hop that lead to big results?

Roy Scott 38:40
Well, I think a little things also goes back to what I mentioned about building community. So just bringing on one parent at a time, you know, one classroom at a time, one school at a time, we’re engaging with healthy hip hop and our content and our music and our curriculum. Like being able to do that over time, it just adds up. And that’s really, even now it’s interesting kind of how this played out with before COVID hit. We were you know, we were a lot of events heavy, but even before COVID hit, like around, we know when we got that really terrible news in 2016 2017. We kept performing, kept kind of say, Okay, how are we going to, you know, scale the company. So 2017 ish is when we started the tech kind of venture. So 2017 and 2018. That’s when I identified Okay, well going into that, like we have to create our own tech. This is how we’re going to scale it. It’s gonna be hard to scale us performing in schools because we have to physically be there. We’re still going to do that, but it’s just tough. And so when COVID hit, we had to land this plane. When COVID hit him validated that like we can’t go in any schools. We can’t go right now because everything is shut down. And so during that time, we got to actually still build out the technology, build out the platform, go work with teachers closely, virtually, to see what’s working, what’s not? How can we improve it. And now that the world is back opened up, it’s like we have this entire tech platform. But now we’re getting back into the live events. We’re getting back into the professional development because that serve as kind of the biggest mouthpiece and marketing tool to get teachers and parents and stuff excited about us. But now we have the sustainability so you get excited about us. Okay, download the app. Now continue the engagement, we actually just turn on the paywall. So a parent can pay $40 a year to have full access to the exclusive content. So all these things kind of worked out to where we’re getting back to our roots. But now we have like the shuttle built to take flight and scale this thing to the next level.

Joel Goldberg 40:41
What happened during the pandemic or any difficult time, whether it’s that magnitude or something smaller there, I always feel like if you can keep moving forward, even if things have stopped, there’s an opportunity when it ends to be better positioned. That’s clearly what you are able to do. Alright, four quick final questions as we round the bases. Being a guy that splitting time Kansas City, Georgia. Look if you’re not in Kansas City right now, this is coming out in early February. I don’t know what’s gonna happen with the Super Bowl, but what your episode will be released before the Super Bowl, pretty much wherever you go around the country right now everybody suddenly hates the Chiefs, which means you really accomp- if you’re a New England Patriots status, you really accomplished it. That people you should check out some of some of the Royals Instagram because he’s got the most some of the most catchy Chiefs songs on there. This is not anything new. You’ve been doing it for a long time. How much fun are you having with your Kansas City Chiefs?

Roy Scott 41:40
Oh my God, listen, I know you’re a you know, a sports historian. You know me, I’ve been following you. And you know, and I respect your opinion because it’s unbiased. And I kind of come from that same ilk where I’m I love the Chiefs. I love Kansas City. I love the Royals, but I’m also unbiased. This is the best time to be. I mean, I don’t think anybody ever could imagine like you said, we’re in that New England Patriots, Tom Brady, like, stratosphere. You’re like, Oh, nobody ever seen this come so I’m just enjoying every moment. I’m super excited for Super Bowl. It’s like it was 50 years between Super Bowl. So to get four in the last five years is crazy. Oh my God and what? You know, Patrick Mahomes. And the Chiefs are doing just everywhere. Anywhere you go. We’re recognized because of you know, Patrick, Kelce, and it’s not like Kelce is that guy. I’m taking Patrick Mahomes he’s just, he’s just different. I mean, I don’t think, we’ve ever seen we meet personally, we’ve never seen somebody that is this this talented. And also just that good of a guy, just a good person for just a competitor. We just just enjoy this moment, because it’s so great. I just did I did a couple of Chiefs videos. And like you said that I did and to show people because a lot of people on my new stuff. They’re like, Oh, you’re you know this bandwagon, of course, people internet and say whatever. But I’m, you know, I don’t even get into that. But I did the first Chiefs song. They’ll record it was 2013. Now will you that before my home was around. And then the second Chiefs song I did, if you listen to it, at the end, I was hinting towards, hey, let’s put Mahomes in. I love Alex Smith. He was probably one of the best QBs we had in a while I think since Trent Green. But Alex Smith was just kind of a you know, they can dunk until Mahomes got behind them that lid is that lid as far because he was going on the field that season. But I still was like, listen, let’s go with Mahomes. But to wrap this up, of course, you know, I thought Mahomes would be a more dynamic downfield player, the all time great. I don’t think anybody seeing this coming. He’s I think he’s had to argue maybe once we went through, I’m predicting that we will win. I think it’ll be a tough game. But once we went through, I think you can officially call Patrick Mahomes is the greatest quarterback to ever do it. And Tom got seven but at Tom’s peak, he was never as athletic or as creative as you see in Mahomes That’s what you gotta you gotta get at least get three you get three. You can argue it.

Joel Goldberg 44:12
it’s so much fun. And I told you before we went on when you crank up those Chiuefs songs, Chopping It Up and everything, it’s like it just it’s so it’s so catchy. It’s you know, it just it plays off of the emotions. Our second question is we round the bases. Speaking of emotions too, what’s the significance of Justus going off to college at Iowa State with that academic scholarship? I mean, that right there is the cycle being broken, right,

Roy Scott 44:38
Man big time. It’s like what’s crazy guy said one of my Division One offers was in Iowa. And then after I even squandered it all, I had an old AAU coach who was at a school I forget the name of but it was in Sioux City. And they even brought me back out and it was a D2 Tuesday.

Joel Goldberg 44:54
Morning, Morningside College.

Roy Scott 44:56
There you go.

Joel Goldberg 44:58
I only know that because one of my original broadcast partners here, the legendary Paul Splitorff, the late Paul Splitorff rest in peace, played. He was a two sport athlete there. He was, he pitched he was a college pitcher and a basketball player at Morningside.

Roy Scott 45:12
Wow. Yeah. Wow. So my Ryan Fuger was his name. This is way back in the day. This is like 99-2000. He was a coach there. And he was like, Man, listen, just come out here. So I went out there, bought out there and listen, just show up. And there were a feeder school and to Iowa State was like, you just come here, you show up and you do what you do. We’ll get you there. And I squandered all that to be on 54th and Garfield in the middle of the hood of Kansas City. That’s…to rap. But saying that to say is definitely a full circle moment, because now guess what I was dedicated to make sure my son understood the importance of education, and he stayed on track. And now where is he at that I will stay on a full ride academic scholarship. And so yes, it’s definitely a full circle and incredible this moment, and I’m enjoying it.

Joel Goldberg 45:14
Alright, third question. As we round the bases, you mentioned something to me, when we were before we were coming on about, you know, paying attention to my mental health. This is I just bring it up because I think we could talk about mental health on every episode of this podcast or any podcast and I often do maybe even not enough, though. And I’m curious your perspective on this, because you’re now everything you’re doing is geared towards kids, mental health, obviously affects us all. But these kids is you know, and as a parent of three and, and two that are still, you know, in the house, that that it’s harder than ever before. And I’m just curious, sort of your take on it as someone that is putting out things that can help them with their mental health.

Roy Scott 45:53
Right. I mean, especially now with you know, this lady said, we’re in the digital era, we’re in the, you know, I feel like the old men now today that because they the screens and the social media, I know as an adult social media, I have to, you know, limit it because it impacts my, you know, mental health. And so I can, I’m just trying to place myself in my kid’s shoes, or on screens all day, we’re all you know, I tried to keep my, they’re in high school now, but they’re on Tik Tok, you know, whatever, I guess so much movement. So I just tried to be intentional about taking breaks from it. I do stuff like, Hey, listen, when it’s time to go to bed and hand me the devices, I’m gonna plug them in downstairs. And that will take some time away to just if we play basketball, because basketball is my love. My daughter is actually playing right now. My youngest son, he’s not much of a hooper. But I still, that’s what I love to do to kind of connect with them. But I make sure I’m intentional about kind of spending time with them away from that, and also helping them to find their identity outside of that, because so much of that is shaping our youth identity, like kind of how I mentioned with hip hop and music, which is still a big influence was shaping me. That’s how I like social media, and everything is kind of you know, and the internet and all this stuff, and the devices are shaping the kid. So I’m just intentional about spending time with them, reinforcing with them, their love their great and trying to, you know, again, speak those affirmations we talked about and just be as present as possible with them to build them that solid foundation.

Joel Goldberg 48:06
Alright, here’s my walk off, you know, we talk about you breaking the cycle for your kids, by the way that the parenting thing never ends, you know that even even if they’re out of the house, but you look at the community you grew up in. And you look at some of the people that you met, when you were growing up. You look at the path you’re going on, and you might have ended up you know, being the biggest rap star in the world, or who knows. Well, it could have gone good, it could have gone bad. But I’m gonna think about this year in in, in Black History Month. And look what you’re doing can help any kid no matter what their race, no matter what their demographic, no matter what their background is. A kid with a lot of money could go down a bad path, something like this could help them. But it has always been the case that certain communities, certainly a lot of black communities in the city, don’t have are not given the same resources, whether that be to help with your mental health, whether that be to have healthy food, whether that be proper education, whether that be support for moms or dads in terms of child care that the odds are stacked against certain people in certain communities. And I’m curious what you think here about your ability to help with that.

Roy Scott 49:27
Yeah, big time, and I think clearly know what we’re doing. We know hip hop is the voice of our youth and like, and like you mentioned, this is really for all backgrounds, and we know Hip Hop influences. I mean, again, every demographic, but we know specifically when you’re talking about like black and brown communities, especially like in areas of poverty. Hip hop is such an just music overall, but hip hop is such a big influence. So it starts with that, like, how are we tapping into this culture? To show that hey, look A lot of the time when you in these communities, they think there’s two ways out of there. It’s either I’m gonna play sports, or I’m gonna rap, or I mean, it’s kind of this mindset that’s kind of been imposed upon all of us. And so I think using hip hop as the vehicle to show them know, listen, there’s much more for you, you know, there’s a showing them that education is important through hip hop, through rap. But teaching kids about literacy through rap, they’re struggling to read on grade level, but you put on your favorite rap artists, they go word for word with that. So just tapping into the culture to show them their proper representation, and then exposure to everything that exists because what happens in KC is a lot of the times, even though we’re becoming a bigger city, like it’s one of the cities where like, for children in those different you know, communities as far as like in poverty communities, or for us like, you know, in those types of circumstances, it’s hard to see past a block. So as far as you said in that intro. That Ashleigh, she’s cold because she actually pulled one of them bars in the intro like from one of a song I did like, she’s that was the intro was pretty impressive. The block to the boardroom. But saying that to say, it’s hard to see past a block, so a lot of the times and you know, in the city like, you can’t, you don’t know what you can, you can’t be what you can’t see, right? So we’re not seeing that. And so, to land this plane, that’s what healthy hip hop is about. It’s about showing them hey, listen, proper representation, education, exposure, to show you a look, you can be just like us kids that came out of the streets of Kansas City, but you can do so much more. And there’s so many examples of that of other you know, black men and women in Kansas City from you know, Ruby Jeans, you know, Chris Good. I mean, you can go on down the line of like people, black men and women doing incredible things, you know, for the culture and for the city.

Joel Goldberg 51:52
It’s so powerful, and I’m so excited for everything you’ve done and everything that you’re still doing. Have fun in New York rubbing elbows with, with all the famous people. The website healthy.hip hop, you can get the app no matter who you are. This is something if you got kids, grandkids, friends, with kids, nieces, nephews, whatever it is, no matter what your background, this can help. Roy congratulations. It’s so good to catch up with you and I don’t know for anybody listening after the Super Bowl you’ll know if it went well or not. But we’ll you know what we’ll be we’ll be rooting for. Thank you, my friend.

Roy Scott 52:30
I appreciate you. Thanks for having me.