"They say rap's changed," Dr. Dre intoned in the opening verse of his 1999 hit “Still D.R.E.." Boy, has it.
In a holiday message to investors on Monday, 65-year-old billionaire David Rubenstein celebrated his lucrative investment in Dre's Beats Electronics by rapping about his private-equity cred.
Rubenstein, the co-chief executive of the private equity investment firm Carlyle Group, opens the video with a shout-out to Dre, the rapper-cum-businessman who co-founded the headphone giant that Apple acquired in May for $3 billion.
“You know, Dr. Dre is an incredible businessman and artist,” says Rubenstein, donning headphones in a recording booth while wearing a suit and tie. “And he even inspired me to write my own rap.”
“Let’s hear it,” Carlyle’s chairman Daniel D’Aniello says jovially, adjusting the audio on the mixing console.
This stiffly delivered verse follows:
Takes a lot of brains to do what we do,
Looking for a way to make some dough for you.
Energy, commodity, we do it all,
So pick up the phone and give us a call.
Corporate mezzanine, private equity,
Carlyle Group is the place to be.
We’re global, we’re mobile, we’re aiming to please.
Only goal in mind: serve our LPs
“LP” stands for the limited partners who invest in Carlyle’s fund. Last year, the firm's $500 million investment in Beats delivered an 80 percent return when Apple bought the company nine months later.
D’Aniello, feigning shock and confusion, shakes his head at Rubenstein's awkward rap.
“I haven’t done anything like this, really, since my bar mitzvah,” Rubenstein says.
The video then abruptly cuts to a staid William Conway Jr., Carlyle’s co-founder, sitting behind his desk: “See what I’ve had to put up with for the last 27 years?”
Carlyle seems to have a thing for cheeky holiday messages. Last year, the same three executives reflected on childhood in a video starring young kids playing Monopoly, reading Michael Lewis' "Moneyball" on a baseball field and declaring a desire to "be an owner, not a player."
In 2011, Rubenstein lectured small girls from behind a lemonade stand about what it means to be a limited partner.
"We've done this for several years now," a Carlyle spokesman told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. "It's something of a tradition over the last few years to try to send out something that's fun."