(K. Brent Tomer),
ROBERT DONALDSON created a stir by writing an ad for a Republican presidential candidate, Dr Ben Carson. It’s not the ad’s catchy jingle that has drawn comment so much as its creator’s identity: Mr Donaldson is a self-described one-of-a-kind Black Christian Republican rapper from Savannah, Georgia. Even more intriguing is his choice of performance name—Aspiring Mogul—and his reason for choosing it. “It’s about me inspiring other black men, other African Americans,” he has said, “to say, ‘Hey, you can start a business, you can become anything you want to become in America.’”
Of course, by “mogul”, Mr Donaldson means “businessman”, and not a medieval Islamic emperor. The word mogul is now so inescapably associated with entertainment grandees—whether Rupert Murdoch, a media mogul, Jay-Z, a hip-hop mogul—that many are unaware of its roots.
Mogul is a corruption of Mughal, the most powerful Islamic dynasty in history, which ruled over most of India from 1526 to 1857. The Mughal emperors were great patrons of the arts and architecture; the artistic apogee of their empire was the Taj Mahal. The modern usage…Continue reading