God Calls Lawyer to Seek Stardom
Some hip hop artists taunt the law, Emeka Onyejekwe celebrates it. Onyejekwe, who performs under the name Mekka Don, refers to himself as The "Legal" Hustler and has titled his first recording "Law & Order" (download it here). Onyejekwe is a 26-year-old New York lawyer who graduated from New York University School of Law in 2006 and took a job as a corporate associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. But after a year at Weil, the Nigerian-born Onyejekwe left to pursue a career in hip hop. His blog explains how he came to the decision:
While some may think the decision to leave his day job was foolish, Mekka considers it the answer to a higher calling. 'Music is my calling. God spoke to me and I listened,' he said of the decision. In some ways, the decision to rap can almost be seen as an extension of his legal career. Mekka Don says he wants to use his talents to inspire and change the world. 'Hip Hop needs a change. It needs to be revitalized with new and positive energy. It is such a powerful tool and mechanism to move politics, and if done the right way, it can be used to change millions of peoples' lives for the better.'
As Onyejekwe has made the transition from big-firm associate to hip hop star, he has chronicled his life in a made-for-YouTube, multi-episode reality show that opens with him walking out of his former firm's Park Avenue front door carrying a box of files. His blog says that a number of lawyers and bloggers have criticized his decision to leave behind his six-figure income, but he has also drawn favorable write-ups in publications ranging from 5 Point Magazine to the ABA Journal.
A typical day for this lawyer-turned-musician, he writes on his YouTube page, might involve a Phat Farm photo shoot in the morning, then hitting the movie set in the afternoon where he is playing a lead role in an independent film. "Of course, the day wouldn't be complete without laying some tracks in the music studio then popping into one of Mekka Don's parties at night," he says. But with all that to occupy him, he has not abandoned law altogether. He continues to practice in a partnership with his sister, Sylvia Onyejekwe. Their firm, Onyejekwe and Associates, is in Bridgewater, N.J.
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 28, 2008 at 12:06 PM | Permalink
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