It's just 10:30 in the morning and Kevin Liles already sounds downright evangelical. "The great thing about our culture is that we ‘Make It Happen,'” he explains, name-checking the title of his new book, which highlights Liles' 10 rules for success. "When [major labels stopped hiring], people started to create production companies. [Look at] the early days of Def Jam, Master P, Cash Money. It's our job to always create new avenues.”

This fall, the 37-year-old Liles is taking that optimism on the road in a bus for an 18-city tour, during which he and his 10-person promotions staff will give away college scholarships and present free hip-hop concerts. Liles will also be delivering motivational speeches. "The self-help industry ain't never seen something like this before,” he says. Well, not exactly. There is nothing especially new about the wisdom contained in Make It Happen: The Hip-hop Generation Guide to Success, which Liles co-wrote with business journalist Samantha Marshall. But that's kind of the point. The 10 rules ("Embrace the Struggle” and "Play Your Position” are two of them) are presented in chapter form, and apply to anyone's life. Liles' main mission is to dispel the myth of overnight success. "Too many kids are living only on dreams,” he continues. "A lot of them missed the work hard [message] and they just dream big. They end up being dreamers for the rest of their lives. I want to provide that sense of reality, of urgency, early on.”