Interview: Rec This City Management

Over the last few months I have been giving readers my point of view on the music industry and how up and coming artists should approach certain situations and develop as artists. Today, I bring you something new. Instead of giving you my perspective; I’m bringing you someone else’s.

Jared Glassman has been a friend of mine since we were about 10 years old. As you’ll see in the interview, both of us ultimately laid the foundation for each of our achievements today. I got Jared interested in the business, and Jared is the one who gave me the name Breezy (I added the ‘On The Beat’ part). It all comes full circle! Since then, he’s gone on to manage a few artists who are starting to see success. Below is an interview I did with Jared recently that I think will help up and coming artists.

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Jared & I – Summer 2006

Currently one of Jared’s artists, Jitta On The Track, is the opening act on Drake’s Club Paradise tour along with J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill & French Montana.

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Jared Glassman – Rec This City Management

Name: Jared Glassman

Age: 22

Title: Founder of Rec This City Management

Artists:

Jitta On The Track

Jitta On The Track

Ethan Jaymes

Ethan Jaymes

D!RTY AUD!O

D!RTY AUD!O

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How you get into the music business and what attracted you to it?

Actually, if you want to know the real truth, I first became interested in the music industry when you first showed me GarageBand when we were about 14. I started producing from that day and the fire grew inside me to eventually become a manager. I had been producing for 4 years and realized that was not the part of the industry I was built for.

What are your daily roles as a manager?

My daily roles fluctuate. Sometimes I’m doing a ton of emailing and phone calls, some days I have to make sure my artists are all in the right mindset and make sure they are doing what they need to get done to push their careers to their full potential.

What are some of the challenges you face everyday as a manager?

Not being big enough in the industry yet. People like persistence but don’t like being pestered. One challenge is getting your foot in the door. But once you do people start to respect you more… At least for now.

When it comes to your artists, do you prefer to have them develop on their own musically and then you promote/handle the business elements or are you involved throughout the entire process?

I like to be a part of the whole thing. One main reasons I got into management is because I really feel that I have a good sense of what the world wants to hear and in my opinion, two heads are better than one so me or someone else might bring something to Jitta that he likes and incorporates in the music. I also help choose which beats. For the most part it’s Jitta and his own creativity though.

All of the artists you manage have a strong presence on the Internet. What are some of the ways Rec This City has been able to help their artists expand online?

Network as much as possible through emails, meetings, events, make your face and name known to everyone possible and keep a personal relationship. If you’re constantly asking for things and have nothing to deliver back, people will get tired of working with you.

You’re artist Jitta On The Track, just won a competition to open up for Drake on the remaining 20 dates of the Club Paradise Tour. What has the experience been like so far on the road and have any of the artists/managers given you any advice?

This experience is life changing and monumental. We have learned so much just from watching performances and seeing how a major tour runs. We have been blessed with many amazing opportunities so far that have helped boost Jitta’s career at an incredibly fast rate.

Watch: Waka Flocka hanging out with Jitta On The Track (Video 1) – (Video 2)

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As Jitta begins to gain a strong momentum, what are your upcoming plans for him and how will Rec This City bring him to the next level?

We just signed a co-management deal with DAS communications, a major management company that launched the careers of The Black Eyed Peas, The Fugees, John Legend, Ke$ha and more. This will be huge for Jitta and RecThisCity.

What are some of your long-term goals for Rec This City?

My long-term goals for RecThisCity would be to just expand into as many forms of management as possible. Maybe expand to be a tour management company or partner up with a major company and be a superpower. All future plans though.

I’m sure a lot of people ask you to listen to their music or look to you as a resource, what is the best advice you can give to an up and coming artist trying to further their career?

Don’t send emails without music! If you send an email and I take the time to read it please include the music because I won’t respond if there is none! Too many emails!

How can people get in contact with Rec This City?

Recthiscity@gmail.com or email my partner paul@recthiscity.com

We are not just hip-hop anymore; Paul runs the electronic music section so any DJs are free to submit to electri.city.mgmt@gmail.com

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Turn My Beat Up

“As my world turns, the heart beats

Not only in my chest, but the heart in the streets

So when they feel this, they feel me

But I can’t feel nothin’, outside these Dre Beats”

– Machine Gun Kelly (“Invincible”)

Clothing, sneakers, alcohol, and now headphones. These are the business endeavors your favorite artists partake in until they go out of style or don’t seem profitable anymore.

When’s the last time you’ve seen a rapper wear a football jersey in a music video? I’ll wait…

Fabolous circa early 2000’s

It’s amazing how one Jay-Z line in his Pharrell-assisted song “Change Closes” ultimately changed how the entire hip-hop culture dress.

“Jiggy this is probably purple label

Or that BBC or it’s probably tailored

But y’all niggas acting way to tough

Throw on a suit get it tapered up”

–       Jay-Z (“Change Clothes”)

I think the only person who was happy with this line was David Stern, but that’s another story. Once the clothes were done, hip-hop moved to alcohol. The owner of the Jay-Z favorite, Cristal, asked rappers to stop drinking his champagne, dumbass, so Jay-Z brought his troops over to the world of Ace of Spade. Additionally, Ludacris came out with Conjure, and Diddy gave us the ever-popular Ciroc. We’re not done yet people!

Besides money, cars, and woman, what else do rappers ACTUALLY need to make a living? Headphones, duh! When Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovien founded Beats by Dre in 2008, nobody imagined the impact it would have. Four years later, Dre’s product is featured in Chrysler vehicles, HP laptops, HTC cell phones, and every electronic store in the country – and generating of $500 million (in 2011); half of the revenue of the $1 billion industry. Of course other artists took notice of the doctors success and knew they wanted in. Superstars, Diddy, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber all partnered with Beats by Dre for their own line of headphones in the company.

Beats By Dre

But that’s not all. Since the launch of Beats by Dre, we now see Ludacris (Soul), 50 Cent (SMS), RZA (Chambers), and Daddy Yankee (Section8) joining the industry. I’m all for new music products, and yes hip-hop has become the driving force behind most consumer products, but why do we all need to launch the same product at the same time!!! Sound isn’t being manipulated in so many ways that each product is completely different from each other.

SMS by 50

Music is about being creative and that is definitely what is lacking these days. Step it up people and lets come out with something new!

Update: Business Insider shows us which headphones your favorite DJ uses

 

 

Too Many Indians, Not Enough Chiefs

“Too many chiefs, but not enough Indians

See everybody needs to play they position”

– E-40 (“It’s All Gravity”)

Every year, XXL Magazine, one of the largest hip-hop publications, releases their top freshman class for the upcoming year. Some past alums have gone on to be successful such as Lupe Fiasco, B.o.B., and Wiz Khalifa; and some have gone on to be the biggest busts in hip-hop history. Shout out to Charles Hamilton and Papoose! But what is it about this list that excites everyone UNTIL the actual cover is released and your favorite new artist didn’t make it? Everyone is a critic these days. The power of the blogs has created the ability for people to post comments and share their thoughts: the modern day industry executive.

This year XXL decided to do something different. They posted 50 nominees on their website, and fans got to vote 1 time for their favorite artist. 50 artists!!!! That right there is problem #1. For an industry that is so small, and already saturated, there are too many people trying to enter the game. GO TO SCHOOL PEOPLE! GET AN EDUCATION! Just because you “rap,” have a computer, and can upload a video to YouTube doesn’t mean you have talent or ability to succeed in the industry! Yes it’s true that you don’t actually need a record deal to achieve success in this day in age (See Maintaining Independence: Hip-Hop’s New Business Model), but use some common sense people! It’s cooler to tell someone that you’re a doctor or a lawyer rather than saying you’re an up and coming rapper, because (1.) it’s bullshit and (2.) it sounds silly. If you really wanted to drive a fancy car or buy out the bar, get a profession that actually gives you that ability!

Cortez Bryant – manager to Lil’ Wayne, Nicki Minaj & Drake – via Twitter, Jan. 18

Be smart and invest in yourself wisely!

Anyway, XXL only chooses 10 artists for the cover so here are my predictions. I put honorable mentions as well.

My Predictions:

Don Trip                                          Danny Brown

Chase N Cashe                             A$AP Rocky

MGK                                               Future

Casey Veggies                               French Montana

Stalley                                            Schoolboy Q

Other close possibilities: Action Bronson, Chip Tha Ripper, Roscoe Dash, Chevy Woods, Kirko Bangz, Los, Iggy Azalea, Macklemore, and Slim The Mobster

Top freshman producers: Hit-Boy, Mike Will Made It, Clams Casino, Beat Billionaire, Lil’ Lody, and Jahlil Beats

What’s In A Name?

“Yo police blitzed the crack game


Drug alias switched to rap names


Fat chains attract fame


Innocent wigs get split when gats flame”

– Ali Vegas (“Theme of New York”)

Al Pachino as Scarface

Who would have ever thought that one of hip-hops most talked about artists in 2011 would be a rapper named Tity Boi? With over 30 guest features, 150+ shows, and a hit single “Spend It,” Tity Boi has became a household name within the hip-hop community. Even though this is a great accomplishment for the former protégé of hip-hop superstar Ludacris, Tity Boi had to change his rap name in order to take his career to the next level. Enter 2 Chainz. The self-proclaimed “Codeine Cowboy” now has the ability to capitalize off of his 2011 success with his new name and solo[1] endeavors. Whether 2 Chainz is seeking fame or fortune, the real question is this: Does a grown man really want people calling him Tity Boi?

Name changes have almost become essential within the hip-hop community. Puff Daddy to P. Diddy to Diddy, Ol’ Dirty Bastard to ODB, Mos Def to Yasiin, rappers always looking to reinvent themselves for various reasons. With an overabundance of rappers who have continuously named themselves after drug kingpins, mobsters, and the dangerous surroundings they grew up around, we are starting to see a change in those who have realized that these names will not allow them to reach the success they have always strived for.

Rappers with Drug Affiliated Names           Rappers with Mobster Affiliated Names

Tony Yayo                                                          Freeway

French Montana                                                 Rick Ross

Peedi Crakk (changed to Peedi Peedi)             Capone-N-Noreaga (Changed to CNN)

Pusha T                                                              Irv Gotti

Scarface                                                             Machine Gun Kelly

Rappers with Names Associated to Violence

Cory Gunz (Named after his father, rapper Peter Gunz)

Ghostface Killah

Uncle Murda

Killer Mike

40 Glocc

Mack 10

Gunplay

C-Murder (Currently serving a life in prison term)

In Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s popular and bestselling book Freakonomics, the author’s devote an entire chapter on the socioeconomic patterns of naming children, particularly within the African American community. The idea between correlation vs. causation can be compared to the names rappers choose for themselves. In the book, we establish the relationship between predicting a child’s success and his or her parent’s socio-economic characteristics. Ultimately, the author’s conclude that the given name does not matter; it’s the characteristics of the parents that are more important. Unfortunately, we can infer based on the stories that artists depict that their parents were addicted to drugs, poor, abusive, or completely out of their lives.

Most hip-hop artists only know about the things they grew up around. That’s their comfort zone and why they always talk about it. Therefore, why wouldn’t we expect them to incorporate the name of a gun or elements of violence in their image?

The moral of the story is this: name and image are everything in the entertainment industry. You create your own destiny so choose it wisely.


[1] 2 Chainz is a member of hip-hop group Playaz Circle; known for hit single “Duffle Bag Boy” in 2007