Big Boi and G Herbo have said good things about Drillmatic, and I saw that Game had played it for Dr. Dre and Diddy. How involved were they on the conception of the album?
Nah, that’s all Game. My job is to provide the workspace, and I had to push a few little buttons to make sure they were smooth. Roddy Ricch dropped by Thursday and gave me a banger that I believe will be the next single. Game’s not scared to step into other people’s worlds. Fivio came in there with some drill shit. I didn’t know how Game was going to react to that. He killed it. Moneybagg Yo’s [also been in the studio]. And we got a big surprise. 

We got people who’ve been working with us for years. Eric Bellinger has been in there. Pusha-T. It’s people pulling up, demanding to get on the album. We got Hit-Boy in the studio. Him and Chuck are cooking. It just goes from there. A lot of these rappers have been around. They’re recording four or five songs a night. So it’s definitely happening there. The tracklist looks like it’s going to be anywhere between 15 and 18 [songs]. That’s what’s happening this week, [as well as] doing sample clearances. Everything we do is in-house: sample clearances, mixing and mastering, producer agreements, songwriting agreements. Everything.

Do you know what timeframe it might be out?
Some time around late March or April. I’ve got to work two or three songs. [Get the] videos shot and rollout done. Maybe go on tour in Europe sometime in May or June. 

Will it be dropped on 100 ENT?
It’s definitely going to be 100 ENT, whether or not I do a collab with MNRK, who bought out eOne. They’re always in my number one position, because I’ve been doing business with them for so long. “Sexy Can I” was one of my first projects. Back then I was still hiding behind Shaq, trying to clean up. So everything from Year of the Wolf to Documentary 2 and 2.5 and the Drake “100” song has all been me, through my relationship with eOne. eOne was like [me] sitting in the management role and letting everything else happen. I’ve always been on the label side of it, but I was letting other things grow. 

How long has 100 ENT been in effect?
I birthed that like, two years ago. I was operating under 5th Amendment Entertainment. If you go back to “Thotiana,” Year of the Wolf, Documentary 2, Documentary 2.5, all those, you’ll see 5th Amendment Entertainment, which is me. I just curved and went the 100 ENT route because I got mobile apps, I got podcasts, things coming out. It’s all brand-new with the 100 thing, the 100 show, I got rooms on Clubhouse. So I’m just starting to cross promote that. It’s been like two years in the making.

“I don’t let the media dictate how I move. I think I’m the only spokesperson for our people. I’m going to be real with you. Everybody else is hiding.”

What are your aspirations for 100 ENT? Are you going to expand into ventures beyond music?
Labels, merch, film. I have an app coming out that’s artist development called Indie life, which is tied directly to 100 ENT. We lost [artist development] about a decade ago. There’s no more artist development at labels. [Artists will be] doing numbers and popping and the bidding war starts. But grabbing talent that might not have the following, because they don’t know how to do that, is not there anymore. So I want to venture back to that. 

We’ve got big film projects coming up, Larry Hoover projects, movies with Game, management situations with 6ix9ine, which is already in the making, getting a lot of his music done. A lot of feature work done, a lot of touring done. I’m doing all of that. It’s going to be a blanket effect, for sure.

I was going to ask if you were 6ix9ine’s official manager, but you just clarified that.
I got full control and say. It started off as a business partner situation, but I’m over his next project. He’s still signed to Create [Music Group] and 10K, that’s his label. I’m taking the reins on the management side to make sure everything is right, and the rollout is right. What he gets with me is a guy answering his phone calls and emails. He gets a guy that makes sure his marketing is right, his radio is right, his pub is right, his splits are right. And he gets the resources I have to open those doors up that may have been closed on him.

You’re planning to put out a podcast. Can you share some information about that?
The 100 Show will be formulated at my studio in north Hollywood. I’m targeting independent artists, independent producers, and underground filmmakers. I’m doing a partnership with Clubhouse, and we’re talking with them now. I have a virtual audience that will be able to listen and chime in during the interview from the different Clubhouse rooms. So it just won’t be me. I got my co-host CEO Reek the Sneak, somebody I discovered on Clubhouse. He runs my 100 Show room. 

[We’ll be] dealing with people all around the world onstage. So the room will know: “Hey, Tru Carr’s going to be up next Wednesday. So get your questions ready, whether good, bad, whatever it may be. And we’re going to let you guys chime in while we’re interviewing.” I’m running a four-camera system. My guy Lewis, who does all our studios, set me up with that. It’s coming together. We’re looking to launch the first or second week of February.

 “6ix9ine’s got something coming with NBA YoungBoy that I’m putting together, so y’all look out for that. 2022, we coming.”

You said it’s going to be highlighting up-and-coming artists. How much is that going to intersect with the vision for your label and your app? It seems you’re gearing towards…
Yeah, you see it. [Laughs.] The app is called Indie Life. So quite naturally, if I got independent artists and underground artists coming through the podcast, I can channel those people to the Indie Life mobile app. It’s the artist development app. I have a page on there called the radar page. Guys like you, program directors, managers, A&Rs, VPs, presidents, top dogs, whoever, they’re on the radar page. 

Let’s say you’ve got a guy that’s doing 50,000 views on the big platforms, that ain’t shit. But on my platform, I’m not competing with Apple and Spotify. I’m like the grade school to get them ready to graduate to play on Apple and Spotify, and build their following. So if a guy has 50,000 views on my platform, the radar page is alerted: “Tru Carr just hit 50,000 views. Check his video out now.” Now I’m putting him in front of all the execs who wouldn’t necessarily pay him any attention. In turn, it’s giving the execs and the labels and everybody else a chance to watch the initial growth of other independent artists and do business with them in earlier stages. I have a marketing page, where if artists have music or merch or whatever they’ve got going on, they can create a banner for $5, $50, $1,500, or $5,000.

If you’re doing business with a producer or another artist, you can go on the contract page. You can press these lines. It’ll tell you the artist’s name, producer name, splits. It’ll give you a breakdown on what the norm is, and how you should format it. Boom. Now they’ve all got their paperwork. Everything that’s in my mind—all the resources that I have and things I know how to do—I put it in the coding.

What is it about indie artists, specifically, that makes you want to help them?
When you look up, and you are reaching out towards somebody that’s hot, people are already talking about it. Right? You know what that takes—it takes millions of dollars to persuade that artist. So even if I can’t sign that artist, at least now I have a relationship with that artist. When that artist becomes a Cardi B or a Drake or a Lil Baby, to a Blueface or a Game, I now have the relationship to pick that phone up and do business with these artists. But it’s my app. I can see the backend analytics of who’s grown and at what rate, and now I’m in a position to go and offer these guys a deal before anybody else.

It’s an independent-artist only thing. Period. That’s all I’m catering to. A mainstream artist, he can be on the radar page, comment, and maybe try to do business with this artist, but that’s all they can do. So it’s like pop warner football—getting them ready to go to the next level.

I want to pay differently. I want to pay on the quarter million and half a million instead of the 1 million. A lot of these artists have a song out that did 600,000 or 700,000 [dollars], but they don’t never see nothing. So I want to bring the stakes down, so they can really start seeing the check a little earlier. It’s motivation. I also want to turn around and do things for him when I see somebody hustling. I want to sponsor a feature, sponsor a radio run, sponsor a video with a guy like Cole Bennett, or somebody that I’ve got a relationship with. Indie Life’s bringing that to you. Before I give it to Uncle Sam, I’d rather turn around and give it back to the artist that’s supplying themselves and working.

The reason why I’m doing it over the next two years is I’m going to make my exit out of the music game. Because I got a diaper company that’s going on called Ncredible Diapers. I did a license deal with Nick Cannon to use Ncredible in the logo. It’s the only minority Black diaper company in the world that I just didn’t want to exit knowing that I was blessed for a lot of opportunity. So I wanted to leave something behind for the artists to have so they can work themselves.

What are your reasons for wanting to leave the game in two years? 
I’m grooming my daughter, Devyn Jones, to step into my shoes. Ultimately she’s who I send the music to anyway and [she’ll] let me know. She’s 17. It really ain’t my world no more. It’s theirs. 

But my diaper company, I know it’s going to pull at me. That’s going to be something that I’ll never live to see how big it gets. And there’s other things that I’m growing that I know I’m going to have to be there. You know what I mean? Sometime 2023ish, you’ll start seeing me in more suits and ties, stuff like that, because it’s just a transitioning, bro. But I don’t want to [completely] leave this, because I’m probably the only guy like me that’s running with these people out here.

So that’s why I created that app. That’s like me still being there. Because people, they don’t get out here in the mud with these kids to understand them, and help them. So that’s really what it is. Other businesses that I’m venturing on to, that’s for generational wealth, that’s for what I’m going to leave behind for my legacy, my children, my grandchildren, my loved ones. 

“[Kanye] is definitely independent.”

You’re more public facing than the average manager or label owner. Are you looking to parlay your visibility into more of a following that draws attention to your business ventures?
Nah, bro. I come from the the mud. I come from Pacoima, California. So I don’t care about how much money I got or my position in this game. I want to be visible, bro. Where you can come to Clubhouse and come talk to me, you could get to me, I answer DMs, or if I’m at the gas station, you could pull up, have a conversation with me. I come from them. So I’m never going to run from them. I’m gonna stay where my people can have a conversation with me, and can come to me just like a regular human being. Whatever I can do for them, they can do for me, they can make it happen. I’m not changing that aspect ever. I ain’t never running from my people.

How much do you care about the online perception that you’re only involved in controversy? 
Controversy’s just what they report. I done saved people’s lives. I stopped a man from committing suicide about two weeks ago on Clubhouse. So I done helped a lot of people, gave people features, flew people out, bought people wheelchairs that didn’t have them… I do a lot of shit, but the controversy is always going to be the better sell for them. I promote that I don’t gang bang. I bring Crips and Bloods together. I signed the dude that called himself “the famous Crip.” Everybody knows who I am, what I’m from. So people are going to perceive it how they want to perceive it. I can’t feed off any of that. I just keep doing what I’m doing to stay my course. 

Do you ever feel like controversy and backlash will affect your reputation or your artists’ reputation?
The reputation of my artists comes from their skills and what they do. I’ve been me before I signed a lot of my artists. Game’s been controversial since before there was a Wack 100. So we’re going to always support each other, and we’re going to check each other when we need checking. I don’t let the media dictate how I move. I think I’m the only spokesperson for our people. Keeping it real. I’m going to be real with you. Everybody else is hiding. I respect that about Dame Dash. Dame is Dame. He’s going to speak his mind. Kanye’s Kanye. He’s going to keep speaking his mind. I think people are scared of the cancel culture. I come from a culture, they cast us out a long time ago. I’m rooted in cancellation. So I’m immune to it.

Yeah, I feel like a lot of people who follow hip-hop don’t really understand that you come from an environment where the way you’re perceived could be tied to violence against you. I don’t think people register that.
Yeah. But yet, I’ve stopped the violence. I’ve stopped all kinds of situations. They just don’t report those things. They don’t report that there was a dude on Clubhouse who was contemplating suicide because he lost his newborn child. He felt he didn’t have nothing to live for. They don’t report that Wack sent him a psychiatrist to talk to this dude on his dime and stayed on the phone. And I had 50 people calling this dude every 10, 15 minutes to keep him right. I brought him to California, was able to bond with him, to get him back on track. They don’t report those types of things. And that’s cool because I don’t do it to be reported. I do it because it’s the right thing to do. But the minute I have a fight or the minute I’m in a situation where I got to protect my artists, it’s everywhere. Every blog site in America, you know what I’m saying? So that’s just what it is, man. I guess that’s the world, bro.