WORDS FROM SICKAMORE- BUSINESS NEVER PERSONAL…UNTIL NOW

sickamorebw

Going to walk home today. Get some time to reflect. Never really get a chance to do that. Not since this whole thing started:

Business wise?

Dropped my 1st mix tape in stores November 10th, 2001 at the ripe age of 16. Opened my record store that February 2002. DJ Action Pac gave me a “mixtape deal” with Get Money Nation soon after. Graduated high school that June. Started Hunter College that August. Dropped out that November.. Nominated for Justo’s Mixtape Rookie of the Year that December. Congrats Big Mike. First A&R job March 2003 at Beat Street Records. Flew out to do tapes with Snoop that May. Came back in time to meet Just Blaze on the Roc The Mic Tour that summer. Brought him Saigon that winter. Won Justo’s Best Mixtape Personality Award 2004 Worked all 2004 on the Greatest Story Never Told. Bunch of press and accolades for the combination. Got signed to Atlantic that November. Just jerked me out of any money. Coldest winter ever. But Annie made warm cookies. Wrote my company business plan on her couch. Showed the plan to a indie label. Then Tru Life. Started rocking then boom! Record deal with Roc La Familia that May 2005. Through a big company release party July 19th, 2005. Just Blaze DJed. Built a great rapport with my soon to be mentor Kyambo “Hip Hop” Joshua. Flew all around the country scouting talent. Then Hop asked me if I’d be interested in a A&R job at Atlantic. Shiiiii.  1st day on the job March 1st 2006. Director of A&R. Figured I’d stay for 2 years started blogging at XXLMag.com. Signed Wynter that same fall. Slowed down on my business at the time. Realized that I couldn’t move as fast in the corporate world. But Gee, Jean and Darrale made me feel at home. Joey IE then showed me more on how to be an executive. Lived in Atlanta for a while. But the major label life wasn’t for me. Like to move fast. They weren’t putting my albums out. Plotted the Famous Firm model for 6 months. Stopped blogging for XXL. Started ThankGodImFamous.com. Pulled a Jerry McGuire Feb 15th 2008. Started the company with whoever believed the vision. Got Slim signed to Asylum. Gained some Firm members, lost some Firm members. “So Fly” becomes a hit that summer. Life’s better then the cold ’05 winter. Colin Munroe looks to be a great follow up success. Along with Rich Hil. The Insomniaks. Neako. New partners. Familiar faces. Turning The Firm from representation to a full fledged Talent (not record) label in 2009.

Personal side?

Got the job at Niketown September 8th, 2001. Bought Ghetto Fabolous and The Blueprint at Beat Street 9/10. Late to school on 9/11. Went home early that day. 9/14 Niketown wrote me and said they’re putting a freeze on new hirings. That October they said the pause was indefinite. From that point on was determined not to have anyone determine my progress. See “Business Wise – Line 1”. My parents came to see my store open Feb 2002. Best day of my life at that point. Might still be. Left school at 2nd period to open up shop. Didn’t see eye to eye on abortion with my girlfriend at the time. My younger self being pro-life; the aspiring teen model pro-choice. Devastated but not defeated, graduated high school with honors. All extra circular. Teacher gave me her business card. Hired to amigos to work the tapes with me. Met my next girl at my new A&R job 2003. Mommy helped pay for my Cali travel to see Snoop. Old school friends thought I was rich so we feel out. Left my ole girl to move in with my old lady that winter. Helped me get through tough times but she hated my business partner Annie. Also hated my assistant Joi. Picked business over personal and moved out February 2004. Moved into a duplex on the Upper East Side, 84th between 1st & 2nd. Really started enjoying the night life and city at that point. Roommate went crazy so moved into a apartment in LES, 3rd bet 1st and Ave A. That was fun. Met my future girl at Applebees around that time. Kept reading, kept exploring. Became more of a social drinker that fall. 2005 started looking up. Personal life? Not so much. Bad with calling. And communicating. And emotions. And feelings. And remembering birthdays. That takes a toll after a while. More focused on my career. Introvert on the inside, outgoing  on the outside, if that makes sense. New job. New friends. New possibilities. New fears. Do people talk to me for me or what I do? Didn’t like the stigma that came with being an A&R. People really started to hate you. Plus my blog wasn’t helping none. But didn’t care. Parties. Talent. Drinking. Traveling. Life’s a blur. Got old fast. Wanted more. Apologize to the hearts I broke around this time. Or if I played you. I’ve grown since. Became unhappy at the gig. Read 4 Hour Work Week. Filled out the exercises on a plane ride to Las Vegas, Magic 2007. Rich unknowingly helped me make that decision. Goal = Option to retire by 27. It’s no fun if you just start winning in your 30s. Decide to break. 2nd best moment of my life. “When keeping it real goes wrong” they said. Everyday for the past 9 months, focused on one thing. Most of the time. Couple spills with the law. Bunch of cracked rims. But built a new found fellowship with my Firm Family. Jay, Nina, Mike, Sterling, Hovain, Phella, Sakwe, Diarm, Sean, Christina, Markus, Aaron, Nisarg and Bash. The people who jumped ship (or got thrown off), I appreciate the work you did put in and the time we spent. Or the future players and  partners. Firm 89 headquarters. BBM Wars. The camaraderie is crazy. I got a good life man.

Famous Firm

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3 Responses to “WORDS FROM SICKAMORE- BUSINESS NEVER PERSONAL…UNTIL NOW”


  1. 1 Marcus Troy November 24, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Incredible Story! WOW and very inspiring all at the same time.

    Marcus Troy

  2. 2 Sickamore November 24, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    correction:” It’s no fun if you just start winning in your 30s”

  3. 3 Sb November 25, 2008 at 1:59 am

    😮

    damn, so are you and Just coo now?


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