Whether it's clothing, video games, or music, underground is in. It's skateboarding, street racing, and street life in hip-hop mania. But where do you look for profits?
Video games? Activision
Further, in a movement largely inspired by Vivendi
Capitalizing on the popularity of 2 Fast 2 Furious, Electronic Arts
Similarly, Take-Two Interactive Software
While movies influence video-game popularity, games in turn affect the music industry. A couple of years ago, EA Sports released Madden 2002. And who was that on the opening track? Rawkus Records' Mos Def.
Nowadays, Madden -- which has become so relevant that it is in the football hall of fame -- features Blink 182, The Roots, Adema, and Jet. No doubt, video games have become a launchpad for musicians, distributing music to millions of people worldwide.
This is a hip-hop era where Christopher Wallace becomes Notorious B.I.G. (R.I.P.), Shawn Carter is Jay-Z, and Marshall Mathers makes a great movie (8 Mile). The things that have ticked off more than a few people over the years have become a cash cow for those who will listen.
From clothing to video games to the music and hip-hop culture driving all of it, underground has hit the mainstream in a big way. If you're willing to listen to the music, certain retailers and video-game publishers merit further examination.
Jeff Hwang can be reached at JHwang@fool.com.