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: KEVIN BLACK
As Vice-President of the Rap Department, Kevin Black heads the entire rap department of Interscope Records/Geffen Records/A&M. In his six years at Interscope, he has assisted in the multi-platinum success of Eminem, Mary J. Blidge, 2 Pac, The Game, Daddy Yankee, Ruff Ryders, Eve, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, G-Unit, Snoop (Geffen Records), Gwen Stefani, Slim Thug, Black Eyed Peas and more.
Most people think it all started with Death Row, but Kevin “Always Bet On” Black has been rolling the dice long before that. Before breaking through on the corporate scene, between 1986-1990, Kevin Black was busy keeping his ears to the streets. During this time he was a popular club DJ spinning at all the new and upcoming spots of that era, which are now legendary. Being “the” popular DJ at that time, he was quickly recruited by Billboard Magazine as a reporter. By gaining such recognition as this, he soon became an on-air mixer for, KJLH, as well as KKBT. He then became directly involved with the streets by doing street promotions for Def Jam Records.
In 1990, Kevin Black became the National Promotions Director at a new, independent label called Death Row. While at Death Row from 1990-1996, he was responsible for the emergence of “the street team” which was designed for grass root marketing and micro-penetration in the urban markets nationally. He also assisted the multi-platinum label in choosing singles and creating marketing schemes for those singles.
After working with nothing but platinum records at Death Row, Kevin Black was named national director of promotions at EMI Records. At EMI, he worked with artists such as Prince and D’Angelo. In working on projects such as these, he was responsible for choosing singles and working urban radio. He also dealt with marketing and promotion planning. Through his hard work and perseverance at EMI, he helped in the construction and development of their urban department’s recognition.
Kevin Black became a part of the Virgin Records family when EMI was bought out by Virgin. At Virgin Records, he headed the rap department where he dealt with multi-platinum artists such as Janet Jackson, Scarface, Gangstarr, and many more. He assisted Rap-A-Lot Records with marketing and with their street set-up.
Kevin “Always Bet On” Black parted with Virgin records to become A&M Record’s Vice President of urban music and Senior Vice President of Twism Records. While residing over these companies, his main priority was to structure and further develop their urban departments. Up until these companies were bought out by Seagrams, he worked with platinum acts such as Public Announcement, Ice Cube, and Shaquille O’Neal.
As Vice-President of the Rap Department, Kevin Black heads the entire rap department of Interscope Records/Geffen Records/A&M. In his six years at Interscope, he has assisted in the multi-platinum success of Eminem, Mary J. Blidge, 2 Pac, The Game, Daddy Yankee, Ruff Ryders, Eve, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, G-Unit, Snoop (Geffen Records), Gwen Stefani, Slim Thug, Black Eyed Peas and more. During his many years of success, Kevin Black has become known for penetrating urban markets internationally. He is known for his solid relationships which include R&R, Monitor, and Non-BDS stations. His professional management techniques have led him to manage street teams of 30-65 people, he has managed 3-6 regionals at a time, office personnel of 8-15 people, and he has handled and managed budgets in the amounts of $50,000-$125,000 per single. Kevin’s innovative and aggressive style of promotions has led him to believe that every record is a hit once you find that certain niche. His phenomenal techniques have led him to many platinum plaques. Kevin Black has an unmatched love for promoting music, meeting people, and “making it happen”. He will be responsible for the new wave of promotions in the new millennium.