During the 1990s, New York hip hop was at its peak. Jay-Z was among the rising rappers in the game. There were several artists involved in the movement. While there were many artists involved in the movement, there were also several business figured involved, as well.
Money L was involved in this movement. Even after Jay-Z and the other involved artists made it to the top, Money L continued to push. He helped orchestrate the “Dirty” single by Christina Aguilera and Redman. Money L has been involved in several popular hip hop tours.
At the present date, Money L is still heavily involved in the hip hop movement. Money L is currently managing Geda K and other artists, who are rising in the game. Recently, Money L agreed to interview with Hip Hop Vibe. In this interview, he discussed his past, his involvement in big records, and his upcoming business ventures.
Read the interview below:
When you were younger, did you envision yourself becoming a big-time executive? Of course I did, everybody dreams. I wanted to have a company become very successful so I can provide for myself and my family. If I could not make it in the game, I saw myself becoming a businessman. To me, I felt it was more important to actually own something, as opposed to working for someone.
When did you first become involved in the business? Back when I was 13 or 14 years old, back in 1995. I have been doing music all my life, but I really got into the game when Roc-A-Fella Records was getting big. Around the time when Jay-Z released “I Can’t Get With That.” As long as I can remember, I wanted to be on the business side of hip hop. I liked music, but I really wanted to be in the background.
I began managing when Memphis Bleek was featured on Jay-Z’s “Coming of Age.” It was then when I began learning the business and making my own moves.
So, you have a personal relationship with Jay-Z? Well, nobody really has a personal relationship with Jay-Z. We speak, when we were younger, he was like a big brother to all of us. But, due to our age difference, we never really became close. He’s a cool person, though.
Around 1996 was when you first began making moves? That’s when I started working with different artists, outside of my area. It was during this time when I began working with Justin Case. During this time I started Ghetto Goal Records, I was fifteen at the time. Case was the first artist from the label. Even though I worked with major artists, I also worked with independent artists.Â
I also worked with Chad Elliott, he worked with many artists. Elliott is responsible for a lot of major artists, he helped DMX move from Def Jam to Sony. But, he has been around for a long time. Me, I’ve been in the game since I was very young.
How did you manage to keep track with everything at such a young age? I had influences and I watched a lot of people fall. I was always careful to not fall. Now, people who are making sort of copied what I did. Some still pay homage, but I feel people need someone to mold themselves after. When I was coming up, I had people around to keep me grounded.
Currently, in the game, there is no big brother stuff in the game. Now, everything is fake. I saw Waka Flocka Flame quit the game because it’s so fake. Back in the day, people used to help each other out, but those days are gone.
What would you describe as your peak? I haven’t hit it yet.
What has been your biggest moment so far? Traveling outside of the country for music. I like going to different countries and receiving the love from them. They don’t know me personally, but they come up to you. People didn’t know who I was, but they wanted me to sign autographs for them because I was associated with stars. I love to see happy people who love the movement, to me it is not about the glitz.
You grew up in the Marcy Projects with Memphis Bleek and Geda K, right? Yes I did! Yes I did! Also, Jay-Z and Sauce Money. But, I grew up with Memphis Bleek and Geda K.
You currently work with Geda K, but do you also work with Memphis Bleek? Yeah, I still do some things with Bleek. That’s my boy, regardless. I always try to get up with him. Right now, he is out of the spotlight, but I would love to see him get to his peak. He never had a fair shot at becoming a superstar. I would love to help Memphis Bleek reach his peak. Whatever he needs from me, I’ll help him.
What are you currently working on? Well, I just put out an album with Fontana/Universal, called March, the single is called “Marcy.” The album featured AK Chop and Geda K. We also did an EP called The Marcy Project. I’m also working on solo albums from Geda K and AK Chop. Currently, we are taking New York hip hop back to it’s roots. The album AK Chop is called Built from Ruin.
I have a female artist called Bonni, I’m bringing things back to when hip hop was hip hop. The movement, I am working with is going to put New York back on top. However, I also have an artist called Kita Kayne, who is from the South. He’s from Memphis, but I have him in Atlanta. Kita Kayne also has several big names he is working with.
Kita Kayne is bringing that real Southern flow. I am also working with a site called, You Already Hip Hop and it is doing a lot of work for the hip hop followers. I’m real cool with the owner over there, so I’m doing a lot of work.
Do you intend to use your big-name connections to build your company up? Oh hell yeah! In this game, you need a co-signer for almost everything you do. If I have to use some of the people I have worked with, earlier in my career to go forward, hell yeah I’ll do it. Anyone who says they do not have to use big names is telling something wrong.
Can you talk a little bit about your downfall? Yeah, we all got downfalls in the game. My greatest downfall was not understanding the business side of the game when I was younger. I got caught up and I’m still paying for it today. When you have a company, no matter what it is. When you making money with your company and you think the IRS is not watching you, they are. You need an accountant when your business takes off and your accountant should become your best friend.Â
I am still paying for the mistake of not knowing about the IRS when I was younger. No one told me about having an accountant. To all the business owners who are reading this interview, get an accountant!
How do you feel about the current New York hip hop scene? I hate it man, it’s wack. I’m sorry to say it, but they are not giving the real artists any recognition. The artists out, and you know who they are, are not real New York. All they want is pop and Southern records, and it’s the executives doing this. I don’t like the way they are treating the New York artists. Hip hop was never about money, it was about expressing ourselves and they took that away from us, my city. It’s gonna come back when people get tired of hearing the stupid music out. My artists will help doing this.
Do you think Geda K will help bring the old New York back? Yes he can! He can bring it back. It’s a movement, it’s going to take a movement of several artists. Geda K can help, but it will take more artists. Geda K could be an instrumental part of the movement to put New York back on top.
How do you feel about AK Chop’s new music? I’m loving the AK Chop music. He is the old New York. I am really happy with his project, I love the stuff AK Chop is putting out. His music has the 1990s feel to it, but he has the same slang the current guys have, but AK Chop is talking about something real. His album will be real hip hop, he may have some dance records, but he also has substance, look out for him. AK Chop is a mix of Nas, Tupac, DMX, Jay-Z, Biggie, and a little bit of 50 Cent, the old 50 Cent (laughs). He is not copying these guys, but his music is reminiscent of their respective styles.
Biggie had music was about the feel good, DMX was about the hunger, Tupac was about the pain, Nas was about common sense, Jay-Z had the swagger, and 50 Cent had the hunger. On each of his tracks, he has a mix of the feel good, the hunger, the pain, the common sense, and the swagger.
You also have a rock artist out of Arizona? Grant Reed, he doesn’t have anything out yet, but it is in the works. We have been working together for a couple of years, but the project was held up. His music is well worth waiting for. He plays music, he writes music, and he orchestrates music. You will be hearing from him for years to come, he has so many styles wrapped inside of him. Proof his music is good is because I love it and I’m a hip hop head. To work with me, you have to make me like your style. Music with a meaning is what I like and if you have it, I will work with you, and Grant Reed has it.
Anybody you want to shout out, old friends, current partners, mentors, etc.? Everybody I work with Dangerous, LLC., Wild Erc, Madhouse Studios, Icadon, Redman, everybody, Trech, Justin Case, AK Chop, Geda K, Embassy Elite, Ta, my people in the hood, Casino Chip, my man Bear, and so many more, my cousin pop, everybody, they know who they are. Shout out to Jay-Z regardless, I always shout him out. Everybody I work with and who wants to work with me and also my man, Rocko.