In the music industry we often forget about the journey and struggle that the individuals behind the scenes have to go through and it kind of makes sense because the publicists, marketing directors, managers, attorneys, A&R’s and industry folks alike are best when effective yet semi-unknown and unseen. However, here at Stack or Starve we have decided to shine the spotlight on one of the hardest working and selfless individuals behind the scenes; Beads Z. Wider of Live…Breathe…Love…Hip Hop.
Beads is a man of many hats depending on what is needed, is well connected and is never afraid to point artists in the proper direction; even when its outside of his direct network. We had the pleasure of catching up with Beads and getting to know a little about where he has been and where he is going! Beads Z. Wider is Stack or Starve Approved!
Stack or Starve: Peace Beads! First off, introduce yourself to our readers who may not be familiar with who you are and what you do in the industry.
Beads Z. Wider: It’s an honor to have had you guys reach out to me for this interview, first and foremost. As a guy from Brockton, Massachusetts, to have been embraced and had the pleasure of building with one of the Midwest’s biggest and respected movements has been huge to me.
Before anything else, I am a Father then I am a fan and forever indebted to Hip Hop. Some of my earliest memories in life revolve around Hip Hop and every struggle I have endured has been overcome with Hip Hop.
Right now I currently do everything from blogging, public relations, marketing, consulting, booking 2 FM college radio shows; it all really depends on where the artist is in their career.
SOS: Tell us a little about your beginnings in the industry.
Beads: Believe it or not, a lot of my beginnings in the industry happened in the Bay Area and LA, without ever actually being to either places. Back when I was in high school (Class of 2006) I was very active on 2 big forums, Siccness and WestCoastRydaz, and from those artists is where I really learned the importance of merchandising and consistency.
A few of the first singles/projects I ever had the honor of working through my interactions on Siccness.Net were; E-40 featuring Keak Da Sneak “Tell Me When to Go”, The Jacka “Tear Gas” and Messy Marv and Mitchy Slick’s “Messy Slick”.
WestCoastRydaz was the breeding ground for some of LA’s biggest and most respected names today. I’m talking about guys like; Glasses Malone, Nipsey Hussle, Jay Rock, Kendrick when he was K. Dot but like really early, Clinton Wayne, Problem, Bad Lucc, Mitchy Slick and so many more. I was a fan of the West Coast from my first time hearing DoggyStyle and for a lot of the west coast guys I was one of their links to the east coast, even just a fan and fledgling industry head. Shout out to CoopDVill and Styles!
SOS: Wow, that’s actually kind of dope and thanks to technology you had the ability to build your name before really even having one. How important do you think it was to have some of your first mentors and interactions be from outside your backyard?
Beads: Looking back on it now; I learned a lot of invaluable lessons on merchandising, which needs to be stressed because artists from the Bay Area especially are huge on branding and being visible since before I was even alive.
SOS: As a Massachusetts dude, who are some of your favorite artists and who are some of the industry people you look up to from your home state?
Beads: Oh man, Im a huge fan of everyone from my state because it’s really hard for artists from out here to make it and a lot of times, it’s due to a stigma we have been fighting for years. If you know your Hip Hop history, I don’t need to elaborate.
Some of my favorite artists all time and industry people from my state include; Mann Terror, Cool Gzus, Tangg The Juice, Mr. So Boston, Termanology, Rusti Pendleton, DJ Chubby Chub, DJ EA Sports and the list goes on.
Some of my favorite artists from New England, at the moment are; Jazzmyn Red, Kado Barliatier, Conflict, Bake, J Duce, Nuxx, Everybody Luv Black, Nancia and 100 Proof of 10 Toes Down.
SOS: What’s currently on your plate?
Beads: My daily focus is always building up my brand and my site, www.livebreathelovehiphop.com.
As marketing director of Enterprize Entertainment; I stay busy. We have a roster including G. Fisher, D_Dave, 1st AKA The Pretty Girl, Soultronik and a few more extremely talented artists. Whether it’s premiering a record on XM, watching Fish and Dave on Shade 45, watching 1st destroy ciphers; we have a family unit unlike most “teams”. We ride for each other and put each other in the forefront.
Dame Grease and the Vacant Lot/Wave Gang team always keep me on my toes as well. Dame is a LEGEND and his vaults are deeper than anyone can imagine and he is constantly making new hits with damn near everyone. I have to check daily just to keep up with The Goon Boss. One day it may be a Max B record and the next might be one of his newer artists like, E-Moe or CB Smooth, that’s the beauty of Vacant Lot Records.
Then from there we can go anywhere from Jazzmyn Red’s new album, recently released, “#WritingHerStory” to Alpac x Wiz Khalifa’s new project due out in March, Da Block Dwellerz (MA) to Uniceson (NJ) to X-yle (NY) to Mon$ta (Oakland) and so many more. I keep my doors open to everyone.
I was also recently brought on to help coordinate, “Network Boston”. A quarterly networking event held in Boston, Ma with some of the best industry people on hand for artists to build with. Shout out to Capitol Front Booking!
I also have the pleasure of building up and building with FM college radio personality and #1 Pusher, Ms. SnakeCharma. She is a huge key for the indy scene.
SOS: What’s the best advice you can give artists?
Beads: There’s a lot of things artists need to know and improve upon, I have daily interactions with artists and 9 times out of 10, the artists approach is all wrong.
OWN your music and name, first.
Do not spam and tag! Actually take the time to reach out an introduce yourself.
Do not ask 200 questions and then say, “Let me talk to my manager”. Send your manager to me, if that’s the case.
Do not run away when asked what your budget is.
and most importantly, know what YOU want and what YOUR vision is before jumping into talks with anyone.
SOS: How can people reach out to you?
Beads: Anyone looking to reach me can visit www.livebreathelovehiphop.com
I have all my information under the Media section!
Twitter and Instagram @Beads_Z_Wider
SOS: Anyone you want to shout out?
Beads: Of course, shout out to: Stack or Starve, Dough From Da Go, Dame Grease and Vacant Lot, Enterprize Entertainment, Hoffa at Gain Greene Records, Team Bake, DJ ShugaBooga and Super EngineEar Myke at the Bubble N’ Blow Show, Str8Mass, Ms. SnakeCharma, the whole New England, my city Brockton, Ma and a special shout out to some fellow publicists and media specialists that inspire my grind; Awesomenezz, Jason Bourne (The Plug), Ali Washington and everyone else who is sacrificing their time to push someone else into the limelight! Respect to the Bloggers, Publicists, Managers, DJs, Graphic designers, marketing teams and everyone else who selflessly pushes the Culture first!!