Philip Jacobs

Hip-hop Artist and Leadership Speaker at The R.E.B.E.L. Firm

Auburn, Washington

Class of 2008, Business Adminstration major


If you watch Bones, The Mindy Project, Friday Night Lights, America’s Next Top Model, or Castle, you may have already heard the music of hip hop artist, speaker, and author Sharp Skills — aka Philip Jacobs.

With the recent release of his fourth album, “On My Rebel Ish,” the business administration graduate continues to meld his creative side with his business savvy. “I wanted to make a living off my passion and felt learning business would enable me to do this,” he explains. “I discovered I was just as passionate about business as I am about music and my other creative outlets.”

A native of Southern California, Jacobs transferred to Seattle Pacific from Highline Community College in 2006. At SPU, he says, he learned the value of networking, and he maintains close ties to SPU faculty and staff — including Susan Okamoto Lane, dean of multi-ethnic and wellness programs, and Kenman Wong, professor of business ethics.

Jacobs has also become a popular speaker to incoming SPU students, as well as to others in the Northwest. “I’m a very motivated individual,” says Jacobs. “I felt that I could use my gift of communication to inspire others to achieve their goals and push through adversity.”

Today, Jacobs, his wife, and two young sons call the Pacific Northwest home, and his company, the R.E.B.E.L. Firm — Redeemed Entirely by Elohim’s Love — keeps his faith front and center. “I wanted to do something that connected back to God no matter what I did with the brand,” he says. “It keeps me grounded in the source behind this movement, business, and brand.”

—Hope McPherson

Philip Jacobs
Photo by Matt Sumi

How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?

My work is well aligned with SPU’s mission of engaging the world and changing the culture. I frequently perform and speak at colleges and universities and I always hope to make a strong impact on the lives of those in the audience.

Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?

Kenman Wong: His class on business ethics really helped shaped my worldview and I used things I learned from him in the real business world. He also gave me some words of wisdom that greatly impacted me during a personal meeting. Susan Okomoto Lane was (and still is) one of the main people at SPU that championed my cause. She always made me feel welcomed at SPU, at a time when the campus wasn’t as diverse as it is now. Karen Altus encouraged me to start blogging. I took her advice and have written over 500 blog post entries (and counting). This writing gave me the confidence to write a book, which she is the proud owner of.

What advice would you give to current SPU students?

An SPU education is incredible, but the people that you meet and build relationships with can last and be one of your greatest assets after college. So make sure you are intentional about investing in those relationships.