In Part 2 of AllHipHop.com’s Q& A with Russell "Big Block" Spencer, the music business veteran explains more about his roots in Hip-Hop business, what new artists need to succeed in today’s industry, and his #rebuildingHipHopblockByBLOCK movement, which is a nationwide search for new artists.
Block has leveraged his relationships and is looking to pair #rebuildingHipHopblockByBLOCK rappers and singers with established acts like Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Future, and Rick Ross.
AllHipHop.com: Please explain to me what the benefits would be for a new artist working with you or within the #rebuildingHipHopblockByBLOCK movement.
Block: Well, this is going to be the first rollout of the #rebuildingHipHopblockByBLOCK movement. Sometimes you have an artist that has a dope single, but they can't get over that hump because they don’t have that relationship to go over the walls and that's where we are now. That's where Block comes in. I can not only get you over the wall, I can get you through the door to blow the fucking roof off. You still have to have those relationships to turn yourself into an international crossover star.
AllHipHop.com: Where are you recording the artist at, or do they all record out of one studio, or do they record in their local studios?
Block: We are doing it all. In a perfect world, we are going city to city letting them record in their home studios or in their own professional recording studios. I am trying to build an organic way to develop a new artist.
AllHipHop.com: What's the business relationship arrangement between artists signing or working with #rebuildingHipHopblockByBLOCK? What does that mean for their career? Are they going to springboard to another label?
Block: I want to partner with artists just like I did with Jeezy and Rick Ross, it wasn’t an artist signed to a label type situation. I want to empower.
Some artists have raw talent, but I want to develop these artists to be great. I don't want to take advantage of anyone or lock anyone down. No, let’s go in on a partnership.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of relationships, someone told me you were tight with Tupac. I’ve known you awhile, I didn’t know that. What were your connections with Tupac? How did you get involved`with the Tupac project and what project was it?
Block: Well, I was with the family, when Tupac moved to Atlanta in the 90s. I was introduced through his sister. Being around Tupac and The Outlawz, I learned how to create and make shit priority. Fuck the club, fuck the bitches, M.O.B.! One of the biggest things I attained was the value of relationships. Once Pac passed, his mom had EDI of the Outlawz and I put together a posthumous album, Better Dayz. I put everybody on that fuckin’ album, from Trick Daddy to T.I. Damn… How ironic, I worked on Biggie’s posthumous album too, Biggie Duets.
The connection to Tupac led me to create "Boyz N Da Hood." Tupac’s mom, rest in peace, called Tom Whalley for me. She was like ‘Hey baby you trying to get into the music business? Okay, let me call a few of my friends.’ She called me back like an hour later, like 'okay, have you ever heard of Tom Whalley?'
Tom Whalley is who actually signed Tupac to Interscope. So, we set up a meeting, Tom Whalley gave me a deal without even meeting Jody Breeze. That's how Jody Breeze got signed, for like $1.3 million through Warner Brothers.
So, then I ended putting together "Boyz n Da Hood" and that’s how Jeezy came about.
Block with Boyz n Da Hood
AllHipHop.com: Where are the rest of the "Boyz n Da Hood" at right now? I know I heard Jody Breeze, I know it was fake, but he supposedly shot up a mall and all that. And Jeezy dropped his new album PRESSURE.
Block: Yeah I still talk to all of them. You know. Like Big Duke got a radio show going on down here, Big Gee back in the studio working. They killed the Bad Boy tour.
AllHipHop.com: What about Gorilla Zoe what's he up to?
Block: I partnered up with Freezy and Flo Rida to collab on some projects with Zoe. You will probably hear one of the records on #RebuildingHipHopblockByBLOCK album. My whole rebuilding Hip-Hop, man that whole album consists of successfully partnering new artist with a bigger artist. I want to go touch cities and states that haven't been touched and leave a BlockbyBlock stamp on each town. I partnered up with Serge and Priority on this project and our focus is to build and develop in every city. ARTIST- ALERT !!!!! Send all music to BlockEntOfficial.com and DM the hell out of Serge, @HollywoodSerge_. lol
AllHipHop.com: What's the worst exaggeration of money that you have seen and from somebody that you worked with.?
Block: Well, when they get a million dollars they act like they have $25 million.
Rapper Kush Frederick
AllHipHop.com: So let me ask you this. Speaking about this. How are you and Kris Kelli in the relationship. I know the last time we spoke to her, You were dating in addition to being in business together. How's that coming along?
Block: It’s wonderful man. We just had a son, his name is King. She is back in the studio right now.
AllHipHop.com: Congratulation Block, that's great man. Are we going to see him more on TV or on “Real Housewives Of Atlanta?”
Block: Naw playboy, we good on that.
Read Part 1 of Block's Interview with AllHipHop.com.