Core Retreat XIV is taking place May 6-9th, 2011 at Marriott Hotel Biscayne Bay in Miami. It is presented by B Major Music Group and this year will focus on recrod labels and entertainment companies owned by athletes. As they are preparing for another great event, THEHIPHOPDIVA spoke with the CEO of The Core DJs Worldwide about the upcoming retreat. See what he has to say after the jump.
HHD: May 6-9th Core Retreat XIV will be held in Miami at the Marriott Hotel Biscayne Bay. This retreat, specifically, is going to focus on record labels and entertainment companies owned by professional athletes. To date, I don’t know of an artist that has been on an athlete-owned label that has actually broken through. Why would it be beneficial for an artist to sign to an athlete-owned label?
TN: The only one that I know of that successfully done it is Shaq when he came out himself and Bryant McKinnie with Pleasure P. A lot of people think that because they have money that they can write off that they can play around with it but that’s not it. They don’t have the proper relationships. That’s how a lot of them get out here and get burned.
HHD: At this retreat, Bryant McKinnie of the Vikings, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks, Nick Barnette of the Packers – all of those have been confirmed to attend. What are they hoping to get out of the retreat?
TN: Hopefully coming for the knowledge to see how it really takes place and find new talent. Find real talent instead of signing their cousins. This is one of the biggest networking events in urban music. I get insulted when people try to charge me for coming here and finding other work. If you come here and do what you supposed to do you always find a check.
HHD: You’ve stated that you’re always approached by your athlete friends to get a better understanding of the business side of music. What is the one piece of advice you find yourself giving out time and time again?
TN: Stop being personal with people, especially when they get people that they are friends with and those friends have another agenda, like trying to be an artist. It ain’t personal. If somebody is wack they wack. Don’t waste time with somebody that’s wack. If somebody don’t have it why you wasting money and time to make them have it? You can’t buy talent. A lot of the time athletes try to buy talent.
HHD: Do you think the athletes know that these people are wack?
TN: They listen to music just like everybody else. They know when somebody is wack. A lot of athletes feel like when people tell them that the artist is wack they are trying to get close to them or that they’re throwing salt on someone that’s close to them. They end up getting stuck with them because it’s personal.
HHD: There are so many retreats, conferences, summits, whatever all with the goal of trying to help artists network and push forward in the industry.
TN: A lot of them are not. A lot of them are trying to eat and get a little dime from it.
HHD: With that being said, what do you think sets the Core Retreat apart from the rest?
TN: I’m on 14. You tell me. I run it like a normal networking situation. People register and come here to perform and we try to add something special to each one. We move it around to different markets that we feel need it or that we haven’t been to in a while.
HHD: Erykah Badu or as you know her DJ Low Down Loretta Brown is the latest celebrity DJ to join the Core DJ roster. How did that transpire?
TN: I had ran across a video of her DJing. She’s always been a friend of mine since retreat number seven. She gave us her club and performed for the DJs for an hour and a half. I originally called her to ask her if she wanted to do something with my hip hop group I manage called Godzilla in DC. We started talking about her DJing and the Core and it kind of transpired from there.
HHD: Since you represent 500 of the country’s most influential DJs, please share with us five ways to piss off a DJ.
TN: It depends on the DJ. Common sense is the biggest thing. You can piss a DJ off with the wrong approach. Being how they were raised and some of them are kind of corny, they’ll hold that against you forever. Some of them don’t even take the time to talk to you or explain themselves because a lot of these Djs these days think they are artists. If he DJing at a club and you come throw him your CD in the middle of the set rather than doing it before he begins that has always been the number one thing to piss off a DJ.
HHD: Some people may not care about pissing the DJ off. What kind of impact can pissing off a DJ have on an artist and what they’re trying to do.
TN: Their whole livelihood, a lot of them don’t realize that. They start feeling themselves and forgetting the essence of where they came from. It can be very detrimental to your career to piss off a DJ, especially the wrong DJ or a DJ that knows or has a relationship with the wrong DJ. Just the drama behind it when people find out you have beef with some DJs. You don’t even want that in the air.
HHD: Right now I know there’s an artist that feels like they have a hot song and are upset because the DJ won’t play their song. Do you have any advice to offer them to help them understand why the DJ is not playing their song?
TN: Some of these artists get on twitter and just start sending out links to DJs of their music. It’s like who are you? You came out of nowhere and sent a link to me and think I’m supposed to play your music, it don’t work like that. A lot of them don’t even capture their markets at come first. Get your streets popping at home first before you start sending out your music to people out of town who you don’t know.
HHD: We’re four months into 2011 and we’ve seen a good number of publicity stunts from artists from face tats to breaking windows. What’s your professional take on gimmicks and publicity stunts because we’re starting to see a lot of that in hip hop?
TN: It’s a gimmick and a lot of that s—- ain’t working no more either. There’s no more excitement to hip hop artists because you can reach out to them too easy. After a while, they shouldn’t have so much access to you personally. It was a mystery back in the day. You wouldn’t be able to talk to LL on the phone and now you can just hit them online and If you say the right thing to them they gone hit you back. There’s no sense in me buying your s—. I can download it, I can see you everyday on twitter, I can talk to you and you retweet what I said, I’m good. Ain’t nothing exciting about you. I’ll go to a club to see you but I ain’t going to no concert. The mystique is gone from the artists so they have to do the gimmicks to try to build the mystique up.
You can register and get more information about the retreat at www.coredjs.com
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