Housing the staples of Miamis Hip-Hop scene is no hardship for Ted Lucas, CEO of Slip-N-Slide Records, but it is a far cry from the football field where he believed he would be making his money.
With a roster that has continually maintained the relevance of this southern melting pot when it comes down to Hip-Hop, he and his team scored again this year with the emergence of the hustlin Rick Ross.
When his love for what he does goes above and beyond the norm, it is exemplified when you see Slip-N-Slides lucrative affiliations with Def Jam and Atlantic, not to mention Capitol.
Here, Slip-N-Slides ruler deads any rumors of beef within his empire, gives his take on the old and the new at Atlantic, and pays respect to those that have encouraged a successful tenure for his establishment.
AllHipHop.com: There have been rumors that Trick Daddy and Rick Ross dont get along; is there any truth in that?
Ted Lucas: What it is when anyone is doing something, and you both are in Florida, anything to do with Trick Daddy, and somebody new comes along, people want to cause controversy. You know Rick Ross and Trick Daddy dont have a problem with each other; fans and different people are going to make comparisons of them both and they are going to put in their own two cents, but no, Rick Ross and Trick Daddy do not have a problem with each other.
AllHipHop.com: If you were to have two artists on your roster didnt get along how do you handle that?
Ted Lucas: My job is to sit down like a father, sit down and conduct business and try to make them think like businessmen and keep this whole Florida movement going in the right way; you know show what has been accomplished and explain how doors are being opened for other rappers coming up in Florida. What Rick Ross has done in 2006 has been phenomenal. Its a blessing to have them both on my label.
AllHipHop.com: Rick has been around though for quite a few years. Why did it take so long for him to get signed?
Ted Lucas: Everything happens on Gods time. Just like it doesnt happen on my time, look at AllHipHop.com, where it is today; eight years ago, there wasnt time for this, buzz and the internet just werent at where they are today. Rick Ross just took his time and I signed him, however many years it has been now, I signed him to this contract because he is a very talented rapper and I saw his vision back then.
AllHipHop.com: Now working with both Trick Daddy and Rick Ross allows you to work with two labels, Atlantic and Def Jam. Do you believe that one over the other has your best interest at heart?
Ted Lucas: Im going to say both do because I have been at Atlantic for years and I have a good relationship there, and Jay-Z and Shakir Stewart saw the vision of what Slip-N-Slide has accomplished in the last 14 years, and like Jay and L.A. [Reid] said, they wanted to do business with me and Shakir was the one to put it together. I am real excited to be a part of the Def Jam family.
AllHipHop.com: You did say however comment before when it came to Rick Ross, He could have come out on Atlantic but they failed to see the vision. What exactly did you mean by that?
Ted Lucas: That was before the merge of the new people that came over form Def Jam, when that was said. Then it was an older corporation, a corporation ran company, not a Hip-Hop company and they may have liked Rick Ross a little better. But they werent risk-takers back then, you know, the people that are over there now, they understand Hip-Hop. They were the ones that started Def Jam and were able to accomplish things. They understand Hip-Hop over there a whole lot better now. They understand what a street movement is, and they understand that just because it isnt a BDS driven record, that that isnt how the music business is run. Its all about the movement; you know you come into a town and thats all you hear people talk about.
AllHipHop.com: How much pressure is there on you guys now when it comes to Deuce Poppis album, you know breaking another new artist?
Ted Lucas: This is what we been doing. There aint too many execs in the music game that been accomplished what I have been able to accomplish with Capitol, Atlantic, and Def Jam. Not too many people can do that at this time in the music business. Right now music is at an all-time low with the way sales are going; so we are just trying to put out the best album possible with Deuce Poppi, you know, we dont want to come out and do low numbers. We want to do his album properly, you know give him the production that he needs, the production that fits Deuce Poppi. Theres no pressure about it and we are sitting with some great producers. I havent finished assigning all the tracks yet, so I dont want to name no names yet.
AllHipHop.com: Do you work better under pressure?
Ted Lucas: I love pressure, I love it. I hate the weekend; I tell everybody that; it takes too long to get back to work. I love what I do.
AllHipHop.com: Is this what you always wanted to do?
Ted Lucas: No I started off playing football; I was going to make it into the NFL. But God chose for me to be in the music business. I dont know how I ended up here. I started off playing football, then went to being a concert promoter, and then went to owning my own record company. I have been blessed.
AllHipHop.com: When it comes down to the Pitbull situation can you talk on that?
Ted Lucas: The Pitbull situation, man, Pitbull has been on the scene for a minute. He had some previously recorded material he had done here in Miami. And me being in Miami, a company came to me here at Slip-N-Slide, and said they had this previously recorded material. I had my attorney review the contract that they had with Pitbull and they definitely owned the material that they had, and me being the businessman I am, [I] just did a joint venture with the company and said, Lets make this happen.
As we prepared to release it, TVT [Records] said we couldnt release it and that is how all this came about.
AllHipHop.com: Now Miami works as a movement, has this caused any friction between you and Pitbull?
Ted Lucas: Man, Pitbull? That is one of the hardest working men in showbiz. I like Pitbull and what he has been able to accomplish, and we cool. I have no problem with him. The problem isnt between Pitbull and Slip-N-Slide, the problem is between TVT and Slip-N-Slide.
AllHipHop.com: Will it be resolved any time soon?
Ted Lucas: Oh yeah, I am leaving that in Gods hands. I let him deal with that. I aint even worried about that.
AllHipHop.com: What, beyond a talented roster, are the foundations for a successful label?
Ted Lucas: Your team; you are only as good as your team. You know people dont understand that to make Rick Ross successful it was a team effort between me and Po Boy, his management. My staff is definitely what makes me successful. Trick Daddy cant sell records, Rick Ross cant sell records - they sell without the supporting team and sometimes people dont recognize that and me, I say I have a team, a staff that dont play. If I need something done, they are here to make it happen.
AllHipHop.com: You are also working with another new artist called Plies I believe?
Ted Lucas: Yes, he is another artist out of Florida; well actually he is doing things throughout the Southeast as he is doing shows in Mississippi, Tennessee, North and South Carolina. He has an album coming out in the first quarter of 07; he is already getting about 15,000 a show off mixtapes alone. You know he created a huge buzz in the streets. You go in any hood; you are going to hear Plies. I feel that what Rick Ross brought in 2006, Plies is going to bring in 2007. I am really looking forward to 2007.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel that the shine you are getting in Miami now is long over due?
Ted Lucas: Yeah, I feel like it is time for someone in Miami to sell ten million records, that is what I am looking for, not just platinum, but diamond.
AllHipHop.com: Any idea who that might be?
Ted Lucas: One of my artists. [Laughs] We are going to get in there and make it happen. We are looking for that diamond and I feel that the time is coming. Rick Ross has taken the attention on Miami to a whole other level. Trick Daddy and Trina have been holding it down for years.
AllHipHop.com: Well they are the staples of the Miami rap scene.
Ted Lucas: Exactly, but Rick is doing his thing and he got his new group coming, Triple C and they have their album coming out.
AllHipHop.com: Are they coming out on Slip-N-Slide/Def Jam?
Ted Lucas: We in the process of getting that together right now. [But were] definitely finishing up that album.