People may not realize what all goes on behind the scenes to make music reach the masses. This is the spot where you’ll see who’s who in the Industry. The people behind the scenes who makes things happen. This will be the section where we feature professionals whom we think deserve the credit and recognition for their hard work that they contribute to this business we call the RAP INDUSTRY..
Each month we’ll bring to you a new professional along with their background.
THIS MONTH’S FEATURE IS: Harve Pierre
“Can’t stop, won’t stop.” As P.Diddy’s right hand man, Harve Pierre has lived by this mantra since his introduction to the music game years ago. Born in the East New York section of Brooklyn, but raised in Queens, Harve grew up in a neighborhood which, at the time, was inhabited by hip-hop greats such as the Fat Boys, LL Cool J, Run DMC and Salt N Pepa, just to name a few. With such a heavy hip-hop presence right in his back yard, it was only a matter of time before Harve himself became enamored by rap and, thus, began his love affair with music. Famed DJ Clark Kent took him under his wing and introduced him to the music industry as a teenager. Jermaine Dupri was the first super producer to believe in Harve’s talent as he recorded a song for his group’s demo before the world even knew of Kris Kross. With the help of Kevin Maxwell, Tommy Boy A&R, and Patrick Moxey, Gang Starr’s manager at the time, Harve was able to secure a publishing deal with MCA which eventually led to a record deal with Pay Day/Polygram Records which was also the home of female rap group Salt N Pepa.
The name of the group was Stixx and Stones, a conglomerate of Nasheim Myrick, Dave Crockett, and Harve Pierre. Harve temporarily postponed his musical aspirations to pursue a higher education at Howard University, but it wasn’t long before his love and passion for music beckoned. During his freshman year, Harve hooked up with dorm mate and fellow New Yorker, Derrick “D-Dot” Angellietie, who shared the same burning desire for music. By the time his sophomore year rolled around, Harve and D-Dot met up with another New Yorker with a fondness for music, Sean “Puffy” Combs. Together, and separately, they began promoting parties on Howard’s campus. While Puff trekked his way back and forth from DC to New York for his infamous internship turned job at Uptown Records, Harve stayed at Howard University and graduated with a degree in Business and Hospitality Management. Post graduation, Harve put his degree to use and went to work as a manager at the Grand Hyatt Grand Central Station in the heart of New York City. In addition to his job at the hotel, Harve opened up a restaurant in Brooklyn and ran it for a year and a half. But once again, music beckoned and in 1992, Harve humbly embarked upon his career in the music industry as an intern for his college buddy, Puffy, who had climbed the ranks to VP of A&R at Uptown Records. As an intern, Harve worked as production coordinator setting up the studio session for Mary J. Blige and Jodeci’s first albums and attended all sessions.
When Puffy was notoriously fired from his post at Uptown Records, Harve joined him at his newly created Bad Boy Entertainment which, at the time of its inception, was headquartered at Puffy’s Scarsdale, NY home. Puff quickly acquired Craig Mack and the Notorious BIG for his Bad Boy roster; forcing a need for a home studio. Harve suggested long time childhood friend, Nasheim Myrick. Nasheim came to the house one day and never left. He eventually became the first of the “hitmen” producers that Puffy signed to start the Bad Boy sound. Along with other producers, Bad Boy began to crank out the inaugural hits that took the music industry by storm and laid the foundation for building Bad Boy Records, a record company that quickly became THE premiere label, leading at the forefront of the industry. In 1993, Harve was promoted to the position of Director of A&R, where he oversaw the album production of Craig Mack’s “Funk Da World”, and the immaculate debut album by the late, great Notorious BIG, “Ready to Die”, an album that was instantly deemed a classic in hip-hop. Harve left Bad Boy in 1995 to broaden his experience in the music industry and became the Associate Director of Black Music at RCA Records, which would provide more learning for him being that RCA was a major label. With one promotion offering after another as he exited the door, and holding two platinum SWV albums and one gold album each for artists Shawnte Savage and Rome, under his belt; Harve returned back to Bad Boy Entertainment, his first home, shortly after the untimely death of the Notorious BIG. Not only did he have the knowledge that he was looking to gain, he had the illuminating passion that would drive him to head the A&R dept as the new Vice President.
In 2002, Harve Pierre was cast on to the hit TV show Making the Band 2 for two seasons after Bad Boy inked a deal with MTV. This hit reality series brought Harve in to the homes of millions of viewers weekly as they tuned in for the trendy and pioneering hip reality show.
In 2003, while at Bad Boy, Method Man and Kevin Liles took notice of Harve Pierre’s ability to make a hit album and solicited his A&R skills to A&R his album “Tical 0: The Prequel” after his five year hiatus. This would be the album that would catapult Method Man back on to the charts having sold over 500,000 units.
Today, nearly five years later, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group (BBWEG) is one of the world’s pre-eminent urban entertainment companies, encompassing a broad range of business including recording, music publishing, artist management, television and film production, recording facility, marketing and advertising, apparel and restaurants. With a collection of businesses whose annual sales are quickly approaching $300 million and an employee base that is 600 strong, Bad Boy Entertainment Group has grown into one of the most premier record labels of the 21st century. Harve Pierre was the Executive VP/General Manager/VP of A&R, and with Mr. Combs, is largely responsible for the pop appeal of urban entertainment. In just eight years, founder and CEO Sean “Diddy” Combs and Harve Pierre have forever changed the entertainment industry by catapulting the music and style of urban youth culture into the American mainstream and creating what is considered by experts to be one of the most important forces in entertainment today.
Pierre has worked closely with dozens of artists, among them P Diddy, Notorious B.I.G., SWV, Faith Evans, Cheri Dennis, Total, Mario Winans, The Lox, 112, Shyne, Method Man, Boyz N Da Hood, B5, Cassie, Danity Kane, Yung Joc, Tyrese, Black Rob, Gorilla Zoe, Elephant Man, New Edition, and many more. He has served as Executive Producer on 50 Bad Boy albums, plus 5 projects during a 2-year stint with RCA Records.
In addition to recently receiving a lifetime ownership stake in Bad Boy, the company that he has been with from day one; Harve Pierre has also been promoted the PRESIDENT of Bad Boy Entertainment.
He will also be able to start building his Crazy Joint imprint to be distributed by Bad Boy / Atlantic Records May 2008.
Pierre has also earned a reputation as an innovative video director and editor, pioneering a number of video techniques. Among his video credits are serving as director of “Dead Wrong” for the Notorious B.I.G. and “Special Delivery” for G-Dep, as well as editing most of director Hype Williams’ earlier work. Pierre has edited 35 music videos to date which includes “Victory” for P Diddy featuring Notorious B.I.G., “One More Chance” for the Notorious B.I.G., OutKast’s breakthrough first video, “Playalistic,” and “Flava In Ya Ear” by Craig Mack – the first artist and #1 smash single released by Bad Boy. Among his recent work, Pierre edited the chart-topping videos for Block Ent’s Yung Joc smash singles, the #1, Grammy-nominated “It’s Goin’ Down” and “I Know You See It,” just to name a few.
Harve is also chairman and CEO of his own company Crazy Joint Entertainment & Harve Pierre Publishing.
Pierre will continue to report directly to Combs, and as President, he will oversee the finance, creative, promotional, marketing, A&R, International, and Sales divisions at the label. In addition, his Crazy Joint production imprint will develop artists and projects for the Bad Boy label. Bad Boy Records is a worldwide joint venture between Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group and Warner Music Group.
“Harve’s promotion to President is well deserved” says Combs “he has been with Bad Boy since the beginning and has worked hard to learn all aspects of the business. He has always been an important part of the A&R process and it is only fitting that Bad Boy would house his imprint, Crazy Joint. I look forward to Harve’s continued success.”
“Harve Pierre is truly a modern day renaissance man,” said Atlantic President Julie Greenwald. “He A&R’s records, directs music videos, spearheads marketing campaigns and runs the Bad Boy label. Harve has become an invaluable partner to us. I join with my entire team on congratulating his much deserved promotion.”
“Harve’s diverse business background has made him a valuable addition to the Bad Boy team and this promotion is in recognition of all the hard work he has put in over the years,” says Lyor Cohen, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Recorded Music for Warner Music Group.
“Harve is one of the chief architects of the Bad Boy culture and this promotion reflects the dedication, consistency, and commitment he has brought to the company,” said Kevin Liles, Executive Vice President, Warner Music Group. “Harve has done much more than work at Bad Boy Records — he lives the Brand and has helped provide the foundation that will lead Bad Boy into its next decade.”