[Book Review] ‘The Dream is Real’ by Kenny Burns

Kenny Burns TDIR bookMusic industry tycoon and self proclaimed Lifestyle Specialist Kenny Burns released his first book titled The Dream is Real.  In this book, Burns details his path from local Atlanta party promoter to becoming an influential staple in pop culture.  Burns decided to go the independent route and released the paper back cover via his website Studio43.com.  Downloads are also available for Kindle and Nook.  The Dream is Real goes more into detail about his career path than his 2010 documentary B.U.R.N.S. (Be Ultimately Realistic But Never Sellout) which he premiered at the American Black Film Festival.  Burns elaborates on real life incidents he encountered with P. Diddy, Damon Dash, and Mariah Carey.  In the book, Burn explains how these incidents helped shape him into the mogul he is today.  He talks about how his hard work, consistency, and always staying true to himself ultimately created relationships with music industry heavy hitters like Andre Harrell.

“You have to go through everything you’re meant to go through, to get to where you’re going.” – Kenny Burns

One of Burn’s most noticeable accomplishments was his role in the creation of the RyanKenny brand.  He partnered with Ryan Glover to create a line of urban couture fashion.  The popular RyanKenny button up shirt was worn by Jay-Z in his “Change Clothes” video and by Usher in his video for the 2004 hit  “Yeah.” At this time, Burns was the Vice President of Roc-a-Fella Records.  The books goes in to detail about how the RyanKenny brand went from “grand opening” to “grand closing” all too soon because of financial decisions that led to the fall of the Roc-a-fella empire.

This book is more of an autobiography.  The 172 page paper back cover can be finished in one day.  What makes this book stand out is the fact that it feels more like an extended magazine article because of the many photographs.  (This aspect can be a gift as well as a curse).  While reading, some may label the book as just a promotional vehicle for Kenny Burns himself, instead of pages of insight.  Burns is notorious for his original quotes.  Quotes like “You can only create a brand unless you become the brand itself” “Social currency will take you places money can’t buy” and “Being known for something is worth its weight in gold” can be found all throughout the book.  Burns points out how he stuck to his basic ideology of selling the consumer a lifestyle.  This principle made Burns one of the most sought after Brand Ambassadors for high society brands like Grey Goose and Belvedere Vodka and earned him the title of Lifestyle Specialist.  The Dream is Real is an ideal read for any independent artist/ musician who would like to gain knowledge on the how the music industry works through Burn’s testimonies.

Posted by Thomas Tillmon

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One thought on “[Book Review] ‘The Dream is Real’ by Kenny Burns

  1. Pingback: Living life for a living tour with Kenny Burns and Robert Hill Sr. | Chasing23

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