In this day and age how hard is it to be a CEO of your own label and guiding the career of an artist who is making his way through the industry in a big way like Future?
Actually it’s just a blessing…I count it every day and never take my position as a CEO lightly, I mean that’s what I work hard for…I work hard to be able to say I saw everything thru…and it works when you work it and put in the time, energy and put the right people in place to help make it all happen.
What is the story behind Future signing to A1 and getting distributed with Epic?
Initially we started kicking it as brothers. I took him under my wing as my little brother. It was never about paperwork. He used to be like ‘let’s go ahead and do it. Sign me,’ but I told him it’s about loyalty. I mean I’m a businessman, but paperwork is a piece of paper you know what I’m saying? Like when you loyal to one another and family, the money is going to come. I just told him I loved him unconditionally and was going do everything in my power to make sure that he wins and make sure it goes thru for him. So it’s never been a situation about signing him because he was always my brother. The paper work is just what was needed for his situation to be done on another level, a bigger level, so that we could go to a label like Epic. So it’s never been about paperwork with me and bro.
Can you talk about the projects you have been doing since being released from Def Jam?
I just really have been working on Future’s stuff. I dropped a couple of mixtapes and a couple songs came off the mixtape that ended up being pretty big; some good records for me and that kept me on the road the past few years. I released Gift of Gab, which was hosted by DJ Scream on Thanksgiving Day and it’s a few songs from it that are doing well and now I’m working on another mixtape and my sophomore album One of One and of course building my label A1 Recordings.
Your Gift of Gab mix tape has over a million streams, talk about the success and spotlight this mix tape project has given you?
It’s crazy because when I put it out there I knew that the fans wanted to hear something from me but I also think they know what to expect from me being an inspiration to the streets and trying to motivate them. But at the same time I am not trying to be a preacher, more so trying to teach and they can live thru me and thru my music. I think that’s what made the cd so successful. It’s the ideal of what I am saying and people are like ‘he’s not trying to be a bishop; it comes across real,’ like ‘I can really relate to what he’s saying. I could live by this. I want to hear this song everyday when I wake up in the morning. I got to hear this on the way to work’. That’s the type of music I make. I make music to inspire but at the same time it is still street music.
What is the next step for A1 records?
We’re going all the way…seeing this Future thing all the way thru…platinum albums after platinum albums. I’m going to sign a couple more artists to the imprint and do it all over again. I’m just branching off in different areas and doing a little bit of everything. I’m just trying to stay busy but with clear direction and focus and staying consistent.