nima etminan podcast

Nima Etminan On Working with Snoop Dogg as Teenager, Disrupting An Industry through EMPIRE and Diving into Rap Culture


Showing up wins half the battle. It is a very real thing because if you continuously do something, you not only get better at it, but other people fall off from it. So you automatically get ahead just by showing up.

—Nima Etminan

Nima is the COO of Empire Distribution Records and Publishing, an American distribution company and record label founded in 2008 by Gazi Shami and headquartered in San Francisco, California. In his teenage years, he started as a writer contributor in DubCNN, a website for west coast music. In his teenage years Nima has interviewed popular and rising hip-hop artists. He has also produced groundbreaking album records for acclaimed musicians, including 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and many more.

After finishing his Master’s degree in Media Management Program in Hamburg Media School, Germany, he moved to the US and learned the ins and outs of the US music industry.

I highly recommend listening to the entire episode because we cover interesting topics, mostly about the hip-hop music industry, changes in music streaming over the years, the decline of piracy, and showing up every day to pursue the thing you’re most passionate about. 

Please Enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Clever, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

Show Notes

  • Pierre and Nima's shared childhood memories in Germany. [00:01:34]
  • Shifting interest from archeology to rap music. [00:08:21]
  • Early exposure to rap music through MTV. [00:09:17]
  • Online forums and rap music communities. [00:10:54]
  • Learning to code basic HTML and becoming part of the global message board. [00:12:32]  
  • DubCNN: The music website for the west coast. [00:15:10]
  • Interviewing 50 Cent and other emerging artists. [00:16:57]
  • DIY recording set up. [00:18:30]
  • Catching hip-hop concerts in Amsterdam and Cologne. [00:23:00]
  • The first conversation with Snoop Dogg. [00:25:23]
  • Traveling to Hollywood and meeting rap artists in person. [00:27:45] 
  • Going back home to Germany and getting a college degree. [00:30:08]
  • A podcast-like conversation with Snoop Dogg. [00:32:20]
  • Moving to the US and signing with Empire. [00:33:25]
  • Showing up wins half the battle. [00:36:33]
  • Monetization of DubCNN website. [00:39:24]
  • Rap music as a social commentary. [00:43:08]
  • The counterculture and calling out the society through rap music. [00:44:51]
  • How the Empire Distribution Records and Publishing was founded. [00:47:58]

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