The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.
On the heels of the success of REVOLT Summit day one in Los Angeles, day two proved to be even more eventful. On Saturday (Oct. 26), everyone from artists to entrepreneurs to music-lovers conjoined for a jam-packed day of panels and conversations that not only put on for the culture, but inspired you to be great.
To kick things off on a high note, the day was spearheaded by the Follow Her Lead panel, which reminded audiences of the power in being a woman in the industry and gave viewers first-hand perspectives on how to push past barriers of gender discrimination, while using their voice to speak up. The rest of the day included Snoop Dogg moderating the TDE panel, Lenny S moderating a managing panel, Master P and Romeo discussing generational wealth; an explosive REVOLT block party with performances from Arin Ray, Reason, OT Genasis, Wolf Tyla, and more.
Check out the five highlights from day two of the REVOLT Summit in L.A. below!
1. The Follow Her Lead panel featuring Lily Singh
Featuring “some of the most powerful and shrewd women in the music business and entertainment;” Storm Reid, Lilly Singh, Carrie Champion, and Moj took the stage to share personal stories about breaking down barriers in pursuit of their passions and goals. Regardless of their trials and tribulations, it was their relentless and work ethic that drove them to the top of their craft.
Lily Singh, who boasts 9.1 million followers on Instagram, explained the early days and her reactions of getting her own billboard in Times Square.
“I started on Youtube. I started making videos in 2010 and I definitely was not a product of a viral video. I never had a viral video like, ‘Oh this is it!’ My first video had 70 views. I’m like, ‘Damn, I’m famous. I’ma make another one.’ Every video I have made counted towards getting more traction and more traction.”
The turning point came when Youtube had a campaign on her channel and put her parents on a billboard in Times Square — these were Indian faces that people weren’t used to and the representation was so vividly portrayed.
She stated, “Someone came up to me and I quote, ‘Two billion people are counting on you.’ Why India gotta have so any people? I really took that pressure and challenged myself. I knew I had to take the pressure and turn it into something productive. So, I just made a commitment. ‘Okay, I really want to be in this position. I don’t want that pressure to negatively impact me.’ If anything, I want to take it and put my 2,000 percent effort into this because this is something so much bigger than myself.” Lily also made great use of vision boards.
Speaking of, Reid explained how her role “Europhia” and the bigger picture behind it.
She stated, “‘Euphoria’ to me is a really special project. I want to align myself with projects that are showing the real world. If you’re not showing the real world, you’re actually doing the world injustice. We are trying to evoke a conversation and bridge the disconnect between teenagers and adults.”
2. The Making of TDE panel moderated by Snoop Dogg
If you’re in Los Angeles (or anywhere in the world), you recognize TDE as one of the top labels in the music industry as of recent. Not only is it home to superstars like Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, SZA, Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, Zacari, and SiR; but it’s their artists’ uniqueness, work ethic, and character hails at the forefront. The panel centered around the making of the label, what it takes to be in the collective, business moves, and so much more.
Moderator Snoop Dogg came out to the stage with Jay Rock’s “Win” in the background, as he rocked a red fedora, iced out chain, blue t-shirt, and high top Converse. Rock was next also reppin’ Los Angeles to the core with a blue Los Angeles Dodgers shirt and red L.A. cap. Moosa, Big B, and TDE President Punch followed suit.
Snoop’s sense of humor was brought to life as he asked the panelists what labels they followed before them and gave them two options: “Death Row… and Death Row?” The crowd erupted with laughter.
What most people may not know is Rock was actually one of the firsts on the label. The Watts native stated, “I was the first busting doors open, knocked them out. I got knocked down… pause. But, my brothers always had my back. They took charge. I just came back full circle. Stay dedicated, stay working, stay focused.”
When it comes to getting signed, Moosa stated, “You can be the dopest person in the world. But, if you don’t have character, you don’t have nothing.”
Punch brought audiences back to 1997 when they first started, as he highlighted TDE’s main theme. “You have to understood the company. The 90s, it was a different time frame. Our whole motto is ‘work,’ and we still carry it do this day.”
In fact, the only artist he signed to TDE was SZA, who popped up mid-conversation to surprise fans. Speaking on the group, she said, “I’m very comfortable. I’ve come chin to chin with everyone on this stage, Moosa first. I have soft skin, so it was hard for me to be joked on. But over time, I just kind of allocated. It made me a stronger person.”
Thanks to TDE, SZA was able to check the one thing off her bucket list: Working with Stevie Wonder. SZA revealed, “I’ve been making music with Stevie Wonder. It’s done, it’s happened. He’s just so sweet. It was crazy, that was the top of my bucket list. I almost thought I was going to die.”
As far as Rock, nothing compromises his love for music. “I’ve been working hard on this next album... Thing about me, I always focus on music. That’s been my dream since day one. So, I just focus on music. Been locked in with that.”
3. The Managing the Talent, Brand and Business panel
If you manage an artist or want to, this panel was for you. Hosted by Senior Vice President of Roc Nation Lenny S, whom returns to the stage after moderating the summit in Atlanta’s Gatekeepers (A&R) panel, the conversation centered around the ability to not only find a superstar, but develop them — even sacrificing your own personal life to make their dreams come true.
Khalid’s manager Courtney stated, “If you don’t have good management, your career is only going to so far. That’s the person representing you, working 20 hours a day.”
Paris Cole who manages Ari Lennox and other Dreamville acts highlighted the important of social media. She said, “[Ari] doesn’t have a million followers yet, but her engagement is crazy. Her Instagram, Twitter, she’s made it so personal. People like personality.”
Piggybacking off the topic of social media, Post Malone’s manager Dre London remembered the exponential rise of the artist’s biggest song, “White Iverson,” in 2015. He added, “For the first four months, everyone had to head to socials. They were seeing this kid with all these different artists, like, ‘Who is this?’ From there, it was growing, we had to catch up. The song’s growing, the artist has to, too. ‘White Iverson,’ there was a time we had to play catch up. If you don’t in the right time, you can lose momentum.”
G-Eazy’s manager Jamil Davis relayed the importance in clear vision. “There’s so many artists who have really good songs, but if you don’t have the vision… it’s few and far between to just get big off a song and everything catches up. Clear vision is important because all we can do is build from them. We’ll figure it out, but as long as we have some type of vision, it gives us some direction to chase.”
4. The Ask The Experts: 1500 or Nothin’ panel
The 1500 Or Nothin’ panel began with a short video that portrayed all the group’s accolades including Larrance Dopson’s Grammy acceptance speech for his work on Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up.” The extremely talented musician is best known for constructing the well-respected crew, who can easily be describes as “a bunch of talented dudes who can play different instruments and do different things.” In fact, this all started in the church. Dopson stated, “Church is where you learn everything.”
The conversation was moderated by Motown’s own Fuzzy, who praised Dopson in the most praiseworthy light. “You may have seen him in the studio with Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg, on the road of JAY-Z, at the Grammys grabbing an award with Ella Mai... it’s easy work,” he said.
Larrance, who helped produce Victory Lap, proceeded to call Nipsey Hussle his brother, as the two grew up with him for 16 or 17 years. He said, “He was the only person same level on what we wanted to do to build our community.” Each and every day they spoke, it was about “building culture, business, and God.”
When it comes to the industry, there’s always a fine line between business and the pure love for music. Larrance added, “I’ve heard Quincy Jones say, ‘When you’re in the studio and you talk about business, God leaves the room.’ I never talk about business in the studio.”
Alongside Dopson was James Fauntleroy, another insanely talented multi-instrumentalist. When Fuzzy asked the Inglewood native what instruments he plays, James joked, “Whatever’s paying me.” Fauntleroy’s accolades include winning four Grammys — the most recent for his work co-writing on seven tracks oh Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic.
His biggest moment was working on Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown’s “No Air,” which he claimed changed both his and his mama’s life. He then gave audiences game on how publishing works, as he broke down what artists, producers, and songwriters should be doing.
Fauntleroy explained, “Fifty percent of the publishing goes to the composing of music, Fifty percent publishing goes to writer of music. These n*ggas want different things for different reasons, I say no. I’ve had some really strong conversations about people about their publishing, and I will continue to do so until the very end. Publishing’s everything. You want to be a real contributor, really add some value in the room, so you can have the leverage to ask for certain numbers.”
5. The Generational Wealth discussion with Master P and Romeo Miller
When it comes to the music industry, there’s no one who has the amount of accolades as Master P. Host Paige Shari, who hosted the REVOLT Summit in Atlanta, joked, “This man hasn’t left the game… ever.” The Generational Wealth conversation featured P and his son Romeo Miller, who immediately reminded folks that his father is an icon.
Romeo stated, “My dad had to sacrifice a lot. I wouldn‘t be here without this man here today. That’s why I work so hard, that’s why I’m always grateful. I got cousins in jail with their parents, I got cousins who are dead. For me, just being here on this earth is the biggest blessing. I just want to give my roses. You’re a legend, an icon. I just want to give you love pops.”
“Make ‘em say uhh!” was P’s breakout single in 1997, — a line that ensues instant nostalgia to every ear it lands on today. The New Orleans native is not only the CEO to No Limit Records, but he’s worked with nearly every big name in the rap game from Snoop Dogg to Mystikal to Gucci Mane.
P highlighted the importance of hunger: “People think you have to have a lot of money to be an entrepreneur. As a kid, I used to cut grass. I did whatever it took to help my family. When you have to make it out an environment, it was hunger. Being hungry took me to my dreams of being an entrepreneur. That hunger drove me, that information, that knowledge.”
When it comes to fatherhood, Romeo asked him what it meant to him.
“It changed my life, it made me realize I had to be responsible. I wanted to be here, I wanted to see you go to college. I don’t care about the music, the rest of the stuff... Everybody’s paths is not the same. My struggle and pain, you don’t have to do that. Even though you seen a lot as a kid, you don’t have to make the same mistakes I made. As I got older, I realized I have the lifetime commitment to my kids.”
Regardless, the No Limit boss reminded everyone in the audience: “An L is not a loss, it’s a lesson.” Romeo even joked how tweetable it was.