“Summit Saturdays” returned this past weekend with explosive conversations with some familiar faces, including Laurieann Gibson in “Executive Chats” — which is a part of REVOLT Summit x AT&T’s “Office Hours” — who gave an insightful breakdown of what it means to chase your dreams.
Right Hand Music Group CEO Courtney Stewart, and “State of the Culture” co-host and attorney Eboni K. Williams expounded on having a solid foundation for your business. The two spoke about having proper paperwork for your business and knowing your content’s value. Meanwhile, Harlem rapper A$AP Ferg and “Wall Street rapper” Ross Mac gave a lesson financial literacy, reinvesting in yourself, and spending your coins responsibly.
Moreover, “Be Heard” returned with another round of its semi-finals, bringing one lucky artist one step closer to their dreams. And rapper Raja Kumari, and businesswomen Coco and Breezy dive deeper into their journey of success with a video co-produced by Teyana Taylor’s all-women production company, The Aunties. Check out some of the highlights from the conversations below.
Award-winning choreographer Laurieann — AKA Boom Kack — sat down with host Rodney Rikai to speak on her career as a dancer and the importance of understanding drive when pursuing your dreams. According to the Toronto native, regardless of your career path, the most critical thing you can do during your professional journey is establish your “passion, hunger, dream, and understand those elements.” She added, “There will constantly be levels of adversity that define you so you can arrive at your ultimate dream. Not to destroy you, not to make you give up, but to define you.”
The dancer also debunked the theory of “faking it ‘til you make.” “I never believed in faking it ‘til you make it. I always believed the training was necessary,” Laurieann continued. “[They] wanna understand how to be something without becoming their version of it. You have to unravel the layers and get to educating and inspiring the process because I promise you, if you get into the process, that’s where the perfection is. The greatness, that’s where the highest operational version of you is.”
Rodney also sat down with Right Hand Music Group CEO Courtney Stewart. With 12 years in the music game, the entrepreneur has accumulated a cliental list of the industry’s hottest artists and top producers.
Courtney spoke on his journey from being Bobby V. manager — whom he grew up with in Atlanta, Georgia — and how the pair took a leap a faith and move to Los Angeles, California after finishing college. The music exec credits most of his success in business to the lessons he learned at his HBCU. “It’s really where I learned to be independent, how to sustain and be responsible,” he said. The businessman explained that he took what he learned from his university and applied it to his management company. He added: “I set up an LLC. I got my company right. I got a bank account and did all that kind of stuff. I just really connected the dots.”
Courtney also gave his take on working for free to gain experience. “If I need to work for free tomorrow, I would work for free tomorrow,” the successful businessman added. “If this is your passion and this is what you love to do, you shouldn’t be driven by money. You should just want to do it.” He continued, “you have to understand this is a very unorthodox business that we’re in. If you aspire to be an A&R, you can’t go on Interscope.com or RCA.com and apply for an A&R position. It don’t work like that. Our business is literally about discovery, and it’s about working for free, learning the business, and building relationships, and that will transition into something greater for you.” The CEO recalled many of his colleagues who used to intern at Def Jam and other places who are now presidents and executives at major companies.
Next up, workshops. During this portion, virtual attendees heard from Eboni, Ferg, and Ross. Eboni dropped a few gems about building and protecting your brand and business, and how to monetize off your content during her segment titled “Respect My Conglomerate.”
The “State of the Culture” co-host broke down the importance of having an LLC, protecting your content with either a copyright or trademark, and knowing the difference between the two. Lastly, Eboni gave insight on using social media to your advantage and how having a large following is only the tip of the iceberg.
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Notorious B.I.G. said it best himself, “more money, more problems,” but Ferg and Mac schooled viewers on some best practices to avoid those problems in a workshop titled “More Money, No More Problems.”
Ferg shared how he spends his coins responsibly, whether by reinvesting in himself or other businesses like stocks or up-and-coming creatives like himself. The “Plain Jane” rapper also spoke about the importance of budgeting and having a reliable team behind you. When you make more money, more than likely, you’ll need someone like an accountant and or business manager to make sure that cash leaves when it needs to because like Ferg says, you can’t be on top of everything all the time. The rapper ended things with probably the most important take away: “Don’t be a follower.” Keeping up with the Jones will leave you broke if you’re not adequately equipped.
Music competition “Be Heard” returned for round two of its semi-finals with host Bri Harmon. This episode was an extra special one because it also fell on the birthday of the late music legend Andre Harrell — the creator of the competition.
Judges O’Neal McKnight, Teddy Riley, and DJ Cassidy got to hear from five up-and-coming artists chosen out of hundreds of participants from across the country. The semifinalists’ sound varied in genres, and judges gave their critics based on tracks they heard from competitors. Ultimately Tennessee rapper Myles Yacht took home the win and is on his way to finals.
Lastly, “The World is Yours” returned for another episode following the lives of Indian-American rapper Raja Kumari, and Coco and Breezy of Coco and Breezy Eyewear. In this episode, the women dove deeper into their journeys of becoming industry powerhouses.
Raja reflected on discovering hip hop and how, unbeknownst to her, elements in her native Indian culture had striking similarities to the genre. Meanwhile, sister duo, Coco and Breezy revealed how their father’s illness introduced them to adult responsibilities at an early age, which would later be the foundation of their entrepreneurship path.
Be sure to download the REVOLT Summit app here to stay up-to-date with more of its exciting premieres and features, as we approach the main event on Oct. 23 - 25!