Slip-N-Slide CEO Ted Lucas Explains How He Built SuperFest Into Miami's Biggest Festival
Ted Lucas describes himself as a “real Miami boy raised up on that Luke Records.”
Immediately, the Miami native starts singing “get it get it, don’t stop get it get it.”
Born and raised in the city of Miami Gardens, home to the University of Miami who used to kick everybody’s butt in football.
Miami Gardens is where Ted’s culture was born, right in the heart of 305. He went on to create the independent music label Slip-N-Slide Records, home to Trick Daddy, Trina, Rick Ross, Plies, DJ Khaled, and Pitbull.
The well-respected imprint has sold over 25 million records and counting. For the past 15 years, Ted as continued to be a force to be reckoned with in the music business, leading up to this year’s Super Bowl LIV on February 2nd in Miami.
Now, his SuperFest Miami LIVE joins forces with Vewtopia Music Festival for creating a family-friendly festival for all those in town.
The fan village will highlight Miami’s culture, food, and music scene, concerts, a family carnival, and 14 hours of live performances and interactive experiences.
AllHipHop caught up with Ted Lucas who was in Miami directly across the street from Hard Rock Stadium, looking at the Super Bowl being prepared and put together.
He jokes about the rain in Los Angeles: “‘It Never Rains (In Southern California),’ that’s what Tony! Toni! Toné! told me.”
AllHipHop: What are your Super Bowl predictions this coming Sunday?
Ted Lucas: Because you’re [Shirley Ju] from the West Coast, I’ma go with the 49’ers. I think they’re a well-coached, well-put-together team. On offense or defense, they’re a pretty strong team. You want to come with your A-game. The other team is a great team as well, but they really need to come with their A team.
AllHipHop: We hear there's some breaking business news with your SuperFest business. What's going on?
Ted Lucas: We did a merge similar to as if Microsoft and Apple merged together. In the last 24 hours here in festivals, we put two festivals and put them together — and used the city of Miami Gardens. Ryan is my business partner, he’ll tell you.
Ryan Bert: My name’s Ryan Bert, the founder of VEW Live! We’re a concert promotional company across the country. I’m looking forward to working with Lucas on this amazing project we have going on here. Some of the biggest artists in the country: Chris Brown, Migos, Cardi B, Megan The Stallion, DaBaby, Nicky Jam just to name a few. Really excited.
Ted Lucas: He’s Vewtopia and I’m SuperFest. There was a merge today that took place. He was doing his festival at another location, I was doing mine at another location. Today, we could come together. Make a little noise today and let people know where they need to be when they come in town for the Super Bowl.
AllHipHop: That Superfest lineup is crazy!
Ted Lucas: Definitely. Ryan has a vision and idea on what he really wanted to do. He’s the one who came and said: “we need Chris Brown on Friday, Cardi B on Saturday.” He put two great amazing lineups together. Megan Thee Stallion and Gunna on Friday, Ty Dolla $ign on Friday. For Saturday, we end it with Cardi B, Migos, DaBaby, Nicky Jam, and Plies.
AllHipHop: What do you want people to know about your city Miami Gardens?
Ted Lucas: This is what I want people to understand: when you come to Miami for the Super Bowl, it’s bigger than South Beach. Everybody knows about South Beach. It's a beautiful city called Miami Garden, and there’s a reason why they have the stadium in Miami Gardens. Because Miami Gardens is the home of the Super Bowl. It's a beautiful city and it’s dead center. People who live in West Palm Beach or the tip of Miami, it’s the center place in Miami. A central location where everybody comes at. We have people from all over South Florida coming to one location. We want the tourists to come out and enjoy the festival, get a chance to experience the culture.
AllHipHop: What was it like growing up there?
Ted Lucas: Growing up here, it was a little rough. You hear the story from everyone: “it was rough, it was rough.” It definitely wasn’t easy growing up here. Our heroes were drug dealers, not going to lie to you. Those people who had the nice cars, they weren't only eating bologna sandwiches. They were able to have good meals. They’d come back into the city and inspire people. Then you had guys making out our community playing football, so those were our two outs. When I was growing up, you were either going to be a pro-football player and if that didn’t work, you’re going to turn around and become a drug dealer.
The reason I’m here doing this festival in the streets of Miami Gardens is I want kids to know that there’s more to life than resorting to crime or putting all your eggs in one basket and going to play football. What we’re doing here now is we got these kids from all those local schools come by to see a black entrepreneur like Ryan and myself put this festival together. They would never imagine two young men came together to put a great festival together with a lineup like this.
AllHipHop: How has it changed from now to today?
Ted Lucas: When I was first growing up in this city, it wasn’t no nice streets. It wasn’t no nice palm trees, it was just a stadium and everybody was broke around the stadium. They gon’ put this nice stadium in the city, you go one block down and you’re in the projects. That’s how it was when I first grew up but now, the whole city is beautiful.
When my grandma first moved over there, she paid $15,000 for her house. But now grandma’s house is worth about $315,000, so that’s how much the property value has went up. It was a great investment. The property value went up because we got a beautiful mayor, Oliver Gilbert, and commissioner, Barbara Jordan, who understand a young man like me. Understand my vision and support me, allow me to come back and do something in my city to provide.
AllHipHop: How do events like Rolling Loud impact your business during the year?
Ted Lucas: Man, business is good. You get people from all around the world that come. Before it was just a stadium and it was good for 8 months when the football season was going on. When football season closed, you still have places like Rolling Loud who comes in and throws a 3-day festival. You see hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people walking up and down your street. Well, years ago they would’ve gotten in trouble trying to walk down the street. They would’ve gotten robbed, so they’re in a good nice beautiful environment. It's safe, and they have a great time. We have one of the best urban festivals in the world, Jazz in the Garden. For us, SuperFest is just the home of festivals.
AllHipHop: What made you pivot from label to event production?
Ted Lucas: I started off with a concert, that’s what motivated me to do events like this. My first entry to the music business was a concert where I brought in that guy that people got a lot of problems with right now, because of what he did to a young lady. I brought that guy down here and did a concert with him. My first real concert with my partner and R.Kelly sold out the venue.
I was 19 years old and made $20,000 that night. I knew right then that taste was the best feeling I had, better than playing football. I never had a feeling like that. Scoring a touchdown was good but you’re 19 years old and you just made $20,000 dollars, legit. My grandma told me I had to go get a job, so that’s where my whole thing started from is doing the first concert with R. Kelly. Ryan says it’s a legal great business for young black men to get into. [chuckles]
AllHipHop: What’s the greatest lesson learned from the music industry?
Ted Lucas: Don’t never give up on your dream. Work just as hard as you did to make it, every day you get up. Because the day you get lazy, there's somebody out there ready to take your spot. What it took to get on top, every day you get up, you have to do the same thing again. The day you lay in bed a little bit longer, somebody’s working to get that#1 spot.
AllHipHop: Top 5 dead or alive?
Ted Lucas: Biggie and Tupac, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, and Jay Z.
AllHipHop: How has the new streaming and social media era affected hip-hop?
Ted Lucas: I love the new streaming and the way it affected hip hop. You know why? I'm doing this interview with you right now right, there’s somebody in Japan streaming my record right now. There’s somebody in Germany streaming my record right now. When I get off work tonight at about 3 o’clock in the morning, I’ma go home, take a shower, and go to bed. You know what’s happening while I’m in bed, somebody’s streaming my record while I’m sleeping. There’s nothing better than that. It’s the new version of the stock market, but it never closes.
AllHipHop: What’s the latest with Slip-N-Slide?
Ted Lucas: Got a female artist by the name of Teenear, she has a beautiful record right now called “Need Your Love.” She’s going to be on SuperFest, and has a couple more appearances for the SuperBowl as well. Got a new young man called F$O Dinero, he has a great personality. When I looked at them, I see people I wanted to be a partner with. Because they aren’t just my artists, they’re really my business partners. I try to bless them, to be a blessing onto this family. I’m excited to be in business with him.
Another artist named Mike Smith, definitely got the down South swag about him. I’m excited about that. Plies got a record out right now called “Boss Friends” with him and DaBaby. Sebastian Mikael, he has a record called “Time.” When you get with your significant other, I want you to play that “Time” record and set the atmosphere right.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let us know?
Ted Lucas: Thank you for this opportunity. One thing: when people come in town for the Super Bowl, you got to come to the #1 festival of the year! Vewtopia with SuperFest in the city of Miami Gardens.