Russell "Big Block" Spencer is 20-plus year veteran of the music business, who has helped break a number of household names.
Over the years, Block, who also served as head of Diddy's Bad Boy South label, has helped break artists like Ciara, BoyzNDaHood, Jeezy, Rick Ross, Gorilla Zoe, and singer Jaquees to name a few.
Now, the executive from Atlanta is back with a new movement called #rebuildingHipHopblockByBLOCK, which aims to introduce a new crop of rap talent to the game. He's already lined up heavy hitters like Kendrick Lamar, Future, and Rick Ross to collaborate with his new talent.
Check out more.
AllHipHop.com: What’s up Block. Can you explain more about the #rebuildingHipHopblockByBLOCK movement? What is it?
Block: It's a campaign that springboards and empowers artist and Indy labels. Also, I want to focus on untapped markets, the new BLOOD, and new HEAT.
AllHipHop.com:Do you have any artist signed up already for the #blockbyblock Album?
Block: Yeah I have artists. Blaze Carter, he's out of Liberty City in Miami. R2R_Country boy out of Monroe, Ga. Also, Mista Mo out of Jacksonville, Fl. and many more in development. Unlike other compilations, the #blockbyblock album will feature bigger artist such as Rick Ross who is on the first single "99 Bottles" with Kris Kelli distributed through Priority/Capitol Records.
AllHipHop.com: So, any artist that gets involved with the #BlockByBlock movement will eventually get a feature with a major act? So, who outside of Rick Ross, do you have lined up to participate in the project?
Block: I don't want to show too much of my hand but you know TDE is family so I got, KDot. I got my zone six family Future. Also, my sister Marsha Ambrosius just to name a few.
AllHipHop.com: I mean who's bigger than Kendrick, Jesus. So when these artists are involved they've already committed to doing this, or you already got vocal on them?
Block: I already have songs, I already have vocals.
AllHipHop.com: And the vocals are with new acts recorded in the studio? Or you are going to place new artists’ vocals on pre-recorded canned verses from the bigger rappers?
Block: No, no, no. You know social media is in now, a lot of fans want to see this shit happening. I want my artist to go in the studio with them. I want the fans to see them really creating. I think that's kind of what is missing from hip-hop.
AllHipHop.com: So you are planning to create a whole experience around the project?
Block: The experience man, everybody wants that experience. Me sending vocals over here and putting verses on it, nah.
AllHipHop.com: So, do you have the names of the features and things of that nature lined up? Like who was lucky enough to get on a track Kendrick?
Block: I want people to actually see it. I don't want to just tell everybody what's going on. I want them to get the experience as well. I'm not going to show my hand just stay tuned.
AllHipHop.com: How did you manage to get Khaled, Rick Ross, Future and these major acts to participate in the project?
Block: Well, you know Top Dawg, that's family, that's my bloodline. We go all the way back to the concrete jungle. So, just to sum it all up, my relationships. Loyalty over cash is going to win all the time.
It’s all about the great business I do. Relationships take you places money can't.
AllHipHop.com: So, I see you were out on a photo shoot with one of the new artists.
Block: Yeah man, just grindin, wrapping up my young artist Kjay EP cover "Got It".
I partnered with Tricky Stewart to produce KJay. He is a young 14-year-old pop singer and actor.
AllHipHop.com: Where is he from?
Block: He's from Atlanta.
AllHipHop.com: I saw KJay a couple months back doing a cover of Michael Jackson’s song "I Wanna Be Where You Are." Yeah, the kid got some pipes on him.
Block: You always gotta be creative in the way you bring things out and the way you roll things out, and we thought that with Michael Jackson's birthday it would be dope if we do one of the songs, and then put it out to give tribute to him. It came out pretty good.
AllHipHop.com: So, what's Tricky involvement in it, cause you know Tricky, like yourself, is a legendary Atlanta figure. What are y'all doing with KJay?
Block: You know Tricky and I have been in the city for so long man, but we never worked with each other. So we partnered up with him.
Trick and I both been in the music game over 23 years a piece, but still, there are some relationships that have to be seen first.
And before I really put KJay out, and really put the new #rebuildingHipHopblockByBLOCK movement together, we went around and networked with all our personal people, so they'll know what we doing first.
We weren't really trying to get a deal, cause you know, we are the deal.