By Stranga The Great
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Many have been impressed with how the likes of Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, and Nicki Minaj built a such a strong presence through mixtapes. Until recently, few realized the business strategy behind it. Even more recently did people realize Debra Antney was the person, behind the scenes, helping these people make moves.
Debra Antney played a major role, behind the scenes, in both New York City and Atlanta, involved in the growth of French Montana and the aforementioned artists. Back in 2012, the world began to see Debra when she made appearances on “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.” She gave advice to both Rasheeda and Joseline before joining the actual cast.
This week, Debra Antney talked to Hip Hop Vibe and it was about a new reality show she has in the works. Obviously, Debra Antney has a talent for developing artists and she turned it into “Who Is The Next Hip Hop Star” reality show and tour. Debra Antney discussed this and the artists she helped develop with Hip Hop Vibe.
Read the entire interview below:
What is it that you look for in an artist that decides if you will work with them or not? It’s really hard to explain what I look for, because it’s unorthodox. It’s just something that I sense in the individual like that it factor. I know talent and once I see it I know what to do with it. It’s not anything in particular but something special that I can see in that artist.
You have had a lot of success, thus far, so what does an artist have to do to fully prove themselves to you? It’s all about drive, determination, and a hunger inside them. If they have that, then we can make some things happen for them. I like the process of working with new artists because they are raw and if they have that drive then it’s a pleasure working with them.
How much of a part did you play in the early success of Nicki Minaj and did anybody bring her to you? I had a lot of part in her early success and career. She was actually found by Full Force. (Laughs) You must be asking about Fendi saying he discovered Nicki. It’s nothing like the story Fendi is telling everybody. We were actually in North Carolina and an associate put me on to her mixtape but it’s not like Fendi is making it seem. You know what I’m not even gonna give him any life, because that is what he wants anyway to get some life.
What is the inspiration behind you turning your quest for a new artist into the “Who Is The Next Hip Hop Star” movement? I’m basically sick of hearing the same five artist on the radio all the time. It’s more artists out there, so I want to be able to get more artist on the radio and into the industry that deserve a shot.
Can you tell the people what they should expect from the show and the tour? We plan on finding the next best female or male artist from places that the industry doesn’t normally go. We will be filming the whole process in each city and giving contracts to the winner.
Who are some of the celebrity judges that will be involved with the show? I know that’s what everybody expects, but you know, what I really don’t want any celebrities to judge the talent at all. I really don’t like it when other artists tell new artist what they should do to make it when they really aren’t there themselves. Who I really want is the DJ’,s because they know talent.
How hard is it to break a new artist and is it mainly respect for you that makes it work? I would say that having respect, for me, has something to do with it. I think people just respect my ability to find good talent. I love independent artists and talent is something I know so it’s about the people believing in me and my vision.
Once I break it down to them and show them what I’m trying to do they get behind it and the artist I bring to them. I like being told I can’t do something or I can’t make it. They told me I would never make it with any of the artist I worked with and that they weren’t good enough.
Where can people learn more about how to be involved with “Who Is The Next Hip Hop Star” and where they can find you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? @debra4mizay and www.be100america.com is the website. We are going to set the social networks on fire (laughs).
Follow Stranga The Great on Twitter @StrangaTheGreat.