What would you say to somebody who admires your business sense but doesn’t understand why you’re still willing to fight with people and such, when you’re doing so well in life? I’m referring to the stuff that goes viral on Clubhouse with you arguing and wanting to fight people.
Well, you got to understand that I’m very protective of my people. Nobody ever really approaches me [to fight] for me. I’m always in the middle of something because I’m protecting my people. I’ve never been out with somebody who’s like, “Hey, I’m here for you.” They’re trying to get at Game or they’re trying to get at Blueface and rage at one of the artists. And unfortunately, I’m fortunate enough to come [from a place where] I was security. I was there to keep Suge safe.
I played many positions before I got to the position I’m at, and I haven’t lost anybody on my watch. I haven’t had anybody robbed on my watch, any of those things. So at the end of the day, that’s just who I am. I’m a manager that’s in the building. I’m a manager where, when my artist is at a club, I’m there with them because my presence has stopped something from happening. I’m not going to get the phone call, “This happened last night,” you know?
You have a heavy presence on Clubhouse. What is it that you like about being on there?
People could get to me. I’ve helped a lot of people. I’ve helped people start businesses and get their credit right. I’ve helped artists. I’ve put artists together. I’ve had artists come out here to my studio and worked with them. I’ve helped people get music rooms together. We gave out a couple hundred thousand. $5,000 here, $30,000 here, $10,000 here, doing things. I’ve helped discover new talent. And people that’s listening, they tell me in my messages, “Hey bro, I was ready to give up until you gave me your story.” So I’m going to make myself visible and accessible to these people. Because if I’m not, I’m not keeping it real with myself.
You got people that are struggling, and they see me, and they think it’s always been this way. They don’t know, like, “Yo, listen, man, I drove a ’95 Honda to work. I had a job paying me $6.50 an hour, bro.” Nope. “I drove trucks. I did this. I did that. I kept at it. I used to park my diesel to catch a flight and catch a meeting. I was doing music and trucking at the same time.” Don’t stop. “I lived here. I lived there. I did this to where I’m at now.” Don’t stop. Keep going. As long as you’re in the race, right? You’ve got to actually be getting to your finish line. People hearing that from me gives them something to look forward to. If I wasn’t on that platform for people to hear me, it wouldn’t have never helped them. I ain’t better than nobody. I’m just like them. I come from where they come from. I tell people, “Bro, don’t be like me. Be better than me. Take what I’m saying, add it to what you’re doing, and enhance it.”
“It’s coming out of my mouth, this is Wack 100 to the youth: screw the streets. Don’t make it a priority. Put positive people around you.”
Can you clarify rumors that you have some kind of partnership or financial stake in Clubhouse? I’ve heard a lot of people speculate about that.
No, no. [I just participate in rooms like] The 100 Show, Sleepless in LA, Jason Lee’s room, I do a lot with him. Death of the Clout Chaser, another one with my man called Eban Films. And then as of [two weeks ago], I started doing some cross marketing with Touching Bases, with the queer community on there and the gay community. We’re mixing rooms and they’re educating us on terminologies that’s respectful and disrespectful, how they do things, and how we see things. Because honestly, look: I’m a straight man. But the reality of the world we live in is going that way. So I feel people need to learn how to interact with one another. Whatever a man’s sexual preference is in his free time, it is what that is.
But as we’re dealing with each other in business and just being able to co-exist, I said, let me bring all these street dudes and all these straight dudes, and then let me get invite the gay community over. And then let’s mix the room. We had a four-hour [conversation], and there was no disrespectful terminology and shit like that. So I use my following to shed light on other things. I’m like this: I’m not looking for no problems. I just ain’t running from nothing. I don’t advocate gang banging. I don’t care if you’re a Crip, Blood, or whatever. I’m going to meet you. I’m going to greet you first as a person, a human being, and a man. I’m from where I’m from.
I don’t wake up looking to do something to the dude across the street or the Crip. But I got Crip comrade partners. I got gay people I do business with, Asian people, all walks of life. People in the Middle East. I have a situation going on with the royal family of Iran as we speak, with the diaper company, where they’re doing distribution for me throughout the 10 different countries in their area. So I’m just like an octopus, bro. I’m all around. I don’t want to be in a box with it. I’m bicoastal. So I live on the west, and I live on the east. I’m pushing to buy some real estate over in the UK. And I really want to pass the reins of 100 ENT down to my daughter. She’s my protege and my A&R.
Whose idea was it to start those conversations with the LGBTQ community?
It was mine. I was educated. I thought queer was disrespectful terminology and they’re like, “No, we want to be called queer, but don’t call us ‘tranny.’” We thought “tranny” was cool. “Tranny’s” disrespectful terminology. So we got educated on our side: “out the closet, in the closet.” They took that some way, but it was like, “Hey, look, that’s our figure of speech on the street, on the heterosexual side.” So it was cool. Everybody got a chance to feel each other out and get an understanding where each other stood. Since then, the room’s been mixing. They’ve been over in our rooms and we’ve been going over to their rooms. Because they also talk about business situations. They talk about things going on in the world and, hey, it’s entertaining and it’s educational. And they get over to our side where we have the music rooms and now they feel comfortable that we’re not going to say, “Hey, get out of here because you’re this or you’re that.”
My whole goal is to ultimately bring everybody together. Somehow some way, Crip, Blood, East, West, heterosexual, queer. We can do business and we can assist each other in any way. We need to be able to do that. Information is key, bro. You know, they may know some things we need to know. We may know some things they need to know. So that’s really my, my ultimate goal.
You recently clarified your comments about Bobby Shmurda and why you feel the way you do about his dancing. What would you say to somebody who doesn’t understand why his dancing should bother anybody?
Well, you got to understand, his dancing has nothing to do with his music. His music is his music, his dancing has nothing to do with who he is, and to his block or his neighborhood. I’m simply telling you, he came in as a street dude. We respect you in that. He did a few stand-up moves. Took some time for your man. Walked off your time. Cool. But when we over in the streets, we probably like, “Yo, what’s going on with that [dancing], bro? That’s not normal.” Maybe starting a new trend, maybe he’s not. I’m just a guy that’s going to say what everybody else is thinking. So I’m looking at that like, “Yo bro, if he was around me, I’d have asked, what’s happening with that? That ain’t cool. What you doing?” You know what I’m saying?
What’s that about? Let’s put some women around him when he’s doing that. What got my attention was when he was [dancing] on Gillie and Wallo’s show Million Dollaz Worth of Game, and there were no women around. And it just doesn’t… If Game start doing that shit, if Blueface start doing that shit, you going, “Yo, what’s up? That’s a little different.” So it ain’t got nothing to do with who he is as an individual. It was just a little different from what we’re used to seeing in that urban lane of music.
Do you feel music consumers have irrational restrictions on street rappers, in terms of having to watch what they wear, watch what they say, and watch how they dance, or they’re going to alienate themselves? Do you think that’s unfair?
Nah, I don’t think he’s alienating himself, because the streets are a minute factor when it comes to streaming anyway. Now, we’re talking business. You ask, “Wack, do you want to appeal to the streets or do you want to appeal to the other side of it?” I’m going to tell you the other side of it, because that’s where the money is at. I advise him to go do some songs with some of these Latin artists, because that’s their vibe. If I saw Bobby Shmurda [in a] Latin song, a Latin video doing that, I go, “OK, that’s the crossover shit.” But in our lane, it didn’t add up to me, but I’m just one person. Who knows? Let’s see the growth for [“Shmoney”]. I’m watching the numbers. I know what the numbers are. I don’t know if it’s helping him any, but just me personally, coming from the streets, coming from this urban music side, that was a little different to me.
Being somebody from LA who really came from a certain lifestyle, how do you feel about the prevalence of artists who didn’t grow up in gangs trying to align themselves with gangs, once their career starts?
You don’t need the streets, even if you are in a gang. I advise you to not go that route. You don’t need the streets, bro. You got digital platforms that put you in front of the world. If you are part of a gang, I strongly advise you to not fraternize with those people. If you got brothers and family where that’s what they do, cool, deal with them on that. But don’t make that a part of your movement. We’ll tell you, we hustled on the block to get off the block. These dudes is getting the money and trying to break onto the block. Don’t make sense to us. I’m going to tell you straight up, I feel that’s the wrong move. Don’t need street certification no more. You need fan certification. I’m going to tell you, chase a TikTok certification before you chase the street certification. Just being real. We talking business. When I saw Blueface, the first thing I did was move him away. He’s behind the gate with a bunch of people that don’t look like him immediately.
“My whole goal is to ultimately bring everybody together. Somehow some way, Crip, Blood, East, West, heterosexual, queer. We can do business and we can assist each other in any way.”
It seems exhausting being a street rapper. People are so attentive with how they perceive you. If something happens to you, you’re “dumb” if you do something back, and you’re “weak” if you don’t do something back. It just seems difficult to manage.
It’s coming out of my mouth, this is Wack 100 to the youth: screw the streets. Don’t make it a priority. Put positive people around you. Don’t put nobody around you that feels you owe him something. And if you’re a civilian, maintain that position. If the streets come at you as a civilian, exercise the rights of a civilian and call your big homies. You know who them people are. Nobody cares, bro.
Don’t put yourself in that politic. 6ix9ine put itself in that politic and seen what happened. He learned from it. It’s real shit, bro. Civilians ain’t privy to following the rules of the streets. And I tell street dudes that. Go over there messing with those dudes that ain’t part of this, and they call the police and the FBI on you, that’s their big homie. They not snitches. They doing what the civilians supposed to do. Can’t make them abide by the rules of the streets and they ain’t from that.
I had to be groomed in this bro, this stuff was extended to me from a kid—10, 11, 12 years old on up. I’m a product of my environment. My daughter has never had a sidewalk in front of her house in her whole existence of living. My kids are the opposite of me. My son is 27 years old. He’s not a gang member. He has legal firearms. He’s taught to tell the truth. You try to harm him, he’s going to do what he has to do. Call 911, hand over his firearm and tell them what he was doing, and the reason why he had to do what he did to you. What he’s taught to.
What are some of the biggest changes you’d like to see in the music industry?
Artist development. There’s a lot of talent out there, but they just don’t know how to put themselves in front of the masses. I would like to see those artist development divisions come back to the labels. These days, people have a dude that can’t rap it all. They’re going to look at your numbers. “Oh, shit. He got a following. Let’s sign him.” Then you can have a dude over here that’s talented as fuck, makes his own beats, makes great music, but maybe he doesn’t have a tattoo on his face or he’s not on social media banging his head through a window, so he doesn’t have a following. Some of these artists have followings through shit that has nothing to do with music.
One guy that it worked for, that I think was an equal balance, was DaBaby. DaBaby had been around. When he killed that dude at Walmart, all the light was on it. But what does the murder at Walmart have to do with the music he already had out? He actually had great music. So this is a guy I can say where it worked for him both ways. He’s not an industry plant. He got that light over there, but he has great music. A lot of dudes that have a light on them, the music is garbage, but people are talking about him and following him because he went over here and went head to head with a donkey or some dumb shit.
[Laughs.] In theory, labels should want to invest in artists more. But there are so many artists that labels will just get rid of you once they don’t see a return. On to the next one. So that’s unfortunate.
I can speak from this, because I know this firsthand. Kendrick Lamar was Jay Rock’s hype man for six, seven years. He didn’t happen overnight. It took six, seven, eight years for the birth of Kendrick Lamar as you see him today. Artist development. Imagine if Top Dawg would’ve gave up on K.Dot, who turned into Kendrick Lamar, a year or two into it, because he hadn’t made any money. We would never be blessed with his talent and skills today.
Yeah. A different rap world.
You understand what I’m saying? This is real talk. How many times did Jay-Z get denied walking in the labels? All the different people were developing themselves. Kanye West, same shit. Dre developed a lot of artists. So I just want to [bring back] the artist development. YG was probably the last one. Remember YG’s initial contract? He was Def Jam YG. He had an artist development deal before he had his deal today. So it’ll give more of the youngsters a fair shot at it. I find myself doing it. [Asking] “What’s your stage name?” Then I’m going straight to the numbers. I’m looking at the numbers before I hear the music, and I check myself on it. That’s why I’ve been doing the things I’ve been doing.
At what point did you realize you needed to check yourself on doing that?
I think it was Bankrol Hayden from Modesto, an artist that my guy brought to me. He’s now signed to Atlantic, I believe. But I went to his numbers instead of hearing him out, and I missed my opportunity on it. One of the songs that went big is a song he texted me that I never fucking listened to because I went to look at his numbers.
So he called me [last week]. He wanted to do something with Blueface and I told him to send it over. And he asked me, “How much would I charge him?” I say, “Bro, just the fact that I disrespected you round one, I ain’t going to charge you nothing. We’ll get it done for free.”
Do you have any other young and aspiring managers or people under your wing that you’re trying to show the game?
I got producers. DJ Mackey. Actually one of my daughter’s friends came to the studio and plugged up. I ran him out the studio. I said, “Yo, man, you stinking up the place, plugging up with that shit.” He disappeared. I didn’t know that my daughter led him into the smaller room at the studio. Then he comes back maybe a month or two later, he got placements with Swae Lee. He got Blueface placements. So I’m grooming him.
I’m tapped into the TikTok community, a little youngster named Qpricee. He’s been developing content houses, so he’s part of the team. They have a room on Clubhouse called the Young CEOs, with any manager that’s up-and-coming. They know they all can call me. And if it’s a missing link, like, “I’m trying to get my artists to Europe. I don’t have a plug. Or how do I do this? Clearances?” I make all my teams available to all of them. The same people that’s there on your way up, are going to be there when you are on your way back down. Depending on how you handled and treated these people, it’s going to determine how far out they let you go before they reach their arm out and say, “Come on back up here with us.”
Is there anything else that you want to express to the readers?
Yeah, I’ve got a few artists signed to 100 ENT, Tru Carr out of Watts. I got my Hispanic group, Coyote. They coming. Blueface. He has a single workin’ with Blxst right now, called “Chosen.” Blueface and DDG are also doing a collab album that’s going to come out. And I got artists out of St. Louis named Flash Gotti. So be looking out for those people in 2022. Mozzy, Saweetie, Kevin Gates, 24hrs, they’re all on Tru Carr’s next project. 6ix9ine’s got something coming with NBA YoungBoy that I’m putting together, so y’all look out for that. 2022, we coming.