Cortez Bryant interview – Drake & Lil Wayne’s manager


Cortez Bryant is manager to one Drake and Lil Wayne. He’s called ‘The 305′ home for a few years now. I ran into this interview and article about him today and it is MOST DEFINITELY a must read. Its a little long, but you should definitely read it and get up in tune with one of hip-hop’s true power players. I put a a couple excerpts of the interview below, but read the entire thing at the link below if you have a few minutes.

You were three years ahead of Wayne in school.
Yeah. I was a junior or sophomore when I first met him, I kind of took him under my wing. I was telling him, “You gotta get out of here. You got to get out of the city. And the way to get out of the city, the real way to do it, the easiest way for us to do it was that we have the opportunity of being at a good school to get a great education. So let’s try to get to college. That could be our escape.” I was saying, “What are you doing with that rapping?”

Why [did you] study mass communication and graphic design in college?
I started out as an engineering major my first year, but I took this calculus class that just busted my ass. I was like, “Let me rethink this.” I was just a freshman going into my second year. So I was trying to think, “What do I like doing? What can I do?” I just was thinking about things that I liked doing. As a kid, one of my aunties had a camcorder and I used to enjoy filming. I used to enjoy filming at all of our family functions, and things like that, putting the tapes together. I found out that there was a major that did all that. So I was like, “Wow, mass communications. That’s what I want to do.” That’s why I picked that.

You are day-to-day with Wayne. How do you separate that from the Young Money label side of businesses? Does it all run together?
It all pretty much runs together for me. It’s like a beautiful collage. Everything comes together. I guess I just run Lil Wayne in all of his entities. We have new ventures coming up, clothing, and debit cards that we are launching. I pretty much take it all on. He’s the creative guy, and I’m the voice. I have to be there, hands-on to speak on everything he has to do. I take that upon myself. I told him that was what I was going to do from the beginning. We will be in it together on anything that he wants to do.

Following his release, Wayne has been in the studio in Miami.
Yeah, every day. Making music is fun to him. He’s having fun.

….With the internet, all the cultural obstacles are down.
The internet is bringing people closer together from all around the world. It has torn down racial barriers.

Drake’s debut album “Thank Me Later” sold an eye-popping 447,000 records in its first week, reaching #1 on the Billboard 200.
We still have room to grow with Drake. We’ve had a great run, it was very successful. We are still on a run. He just finished his (U.S.) tour; he has to go on the European leg of it to break over there. We’re trying to break him worldwide. He’s also recording for his next album, which will probably be out sometime next year (2011).

What attracted you to working with Drake?
I first heard him when Jazz Prince (son of Rap-A-Lot Records’ CEO J. Prince) played me a CD (of “Comeback Season”). I was like, ”Wow. This guy, I can understand everything that he is saying. His music feels so real.” Then when we flew him in, and I met him, it was like, “Oh, wow. This guy’s a star.” His personality just rubbed off. I could tell that he was a genuinely good person.

How did you feel walking into Best Buy and seeing “Dedication 2” there when you gave it away?
I was shocked when I saw a mixtape in Best Buy. That upset me because producers and the publishers, they look at us thinking that we are making money off of these products, and we’re not making a thing. All we did this for was to put out free music. There are people that are pimping the situation. When I first saw the mixtape in a Best Buy, I called my sales manager at Universal Music. I asked “Do (Best Buy) not do due diligence, and see if something is not real. This is a corporate entity.” He basically told me that because CD sales are hurting, a lot of these big companies are just looking another way if they can get anything that can sell. That they are not really doing the due diligence about checking to see if (a release) is all the way legit

How did it feel to have someone impersonating you this year?
First I was like, “Wow. Are they serious? Are they really doing it?” I was upset. I was so upset because the worst thing in the world I can’t stand is (dishonest) promoters and people who try to get over people. And I felt bad because I would get calls (from promoters) and I would have hearts to hearts with people (who’d say), “Yeah, I sent this guy my money, ta da ta da.” I would try to coach them because there are always people who don’t have a clue, who try to promote shows and concerts and don’t know what they are doing.

Click here to read the rest of this extensive and informative interview.

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