(AllHipHop Features) For years producers-turned-moguls like Dr. Dre, Diddy, and Pharrell have taken their start in Hip Hop and parlayed it into multi-million dollar brands. The next Hip Hop veteran on the path to expand his business portfolio beyond rap music is Long Beach legend Warren G.
The G-Funk rapper/producer recently inked a deal with Bronco Wine Company to promote their Allure Moscato line, and according to Warren that partnership is just the beginning of his takeover of the wine industry.
In part one of an exclusive interview, AllHipHop spoke with Warren G to discuss his new Allure campaign, other ventures on the horizon, and if his focus on non-music related businesses means new records from the Regulator will have to wait.
[ALSO READ: Warren G To Be The Face Of Allure Moscato Wine]
AllHipHop: What was it about Bronco Wine’s Allure Moscato brand that made you want to link up with it?
Warren G: First of all, I like Moscato, and Bronco Wines is such a huge company to be in business with. They’re a very successful company. I’m trying to venture out into other businesses other than Hip Hop. I want to get out and do other things like guys like Diddy, Dre, Snoop. These guys are branding themselves outside of music, and now it’s my turn. I’m starting to brand myself outside of music. Wine is one of the most elegant and grown up alcohols in the world. It’s just a great combination.
Bronco Wines are cool people. I came out and visited with them, and they showed me how the wine was made. It was a nice tour of the facility, and they showed me a lot about wine. I was like, you know this would be a good move, because it’s no other artists that’s involved with wine. I’m one of the only one stepping in that lane in the wine world. Just being able to go up to Napa Valley and see how they work, I was like I got to get involved.
Did you reach out to them or did they reach out to you?
They reached out to me through a couple of guys I work with - Tony Clark and RC Mills. They reached out to them, and they got at me and asked me if I was down to do the campaign with Allure. At first I was kind of like, “I don’t know,” but once I learned about the company and learned about how successful they are in the wine business, I said okay.
Getting the chance to sit down and chat with the biggest wine guys in the world was out of this world. Fred, the owner, he’s such a cool cat and that’s the kind of people I want to be in business with. I think that’s why the relationship is going the way it’s going. Plus, I drink Allure Wine so it all worked out.
Are there any plans to connect with any other brands?
I got a lot of people reaching out to me. Sort of the same type the things with the headphones and stuff like that, but I want to be different from what my brother’s doing and what Snoop is doing and what Diddy is doing. I want to be different. I just went into a whole other lane with the wine. I also got my own wine that I own that’s coming. It’s going to be through Bronco Wine company also.
Do you have a name for your wine yet?
I’m still in the early stages. I got names for different wines, but I can’t really let them out right now. I can just tell you that’s it’s a lot of great wines that are coming real soon from myself and my partners. I’m just ready to keep branching off into other businesses. Don’t get me wrong I still love my Hip Hop. It’s just another branch on the tree for me to be successful.
I was going to ask does this mean you’re putting music on the back burner for now?
I’m never going to stop doing my music. My production is at its best right now. On the artist tip I’m working on an EP sponsored by Allure and G-Funk. I’m going to drop that shortly. Just give the people some good music to go with the wine. I think once the people get this music and have a sip of that Moscato, they’re going to be like okay this works. It goes together.
But I’ll never stop doing music. That’s my number one love, but it comes a time when you get older and you want to venture out into other businesses. It’s more out there in life that you can be successful in. Dre was example of that by him doing what he did with Beats and Diddy with Cîroc. Jay Z with the ventures he’s done. Those guys showed me it’s more than just Hip Hop. It’s showing Hip Hop it can be more than just rappers and producers. It shows the people who are always doubting us that we can be businessmen. Everybody is not just a drug dealer or a gang-banger. We’re businessmen too. We do things outside of what people stereotype us as.
Have you ever had a conversation with Dre about moving into that mogul lane or asked for advice about it?
No, we’ve never had a conversation about it. I look up to him. I’ve always looked up to him. He basically molded me into who I am as a producer. That’s my big brother so I want to be successful like that. I’m doing it on my own without being in this person’s footsteps or that person’s footsteps. I’m grown now. I’m out in the world trying to make my own brand just as big as the rest of these guys.
Do you have idea when your EP will be dropping or when the first single will be released?
We looking at October right now. I got a record with me, Too $hort, E-40, and Nate Dogg that’s off the chain. I got another record with me, Young Jeezy, Bun B, and Nate Dogg that’s dope. I’m trying to decide which one I really want to go with, because I don’t’ think I’ll use both them. I got my 20th Anniversary album coming up in June. I want to drop it on June 6th, the same date that I dropped the first Regulate...G-Funk Era.
I’m thinking about saving one of those for that, but I got collaborations with a lot of the young artists like YG, Problem. I'm working on a record right now for me and Snoop to get on. Then I’m going to reach out to other artists that I really like, and I want them to be a part of my EP. I’m going to reach out to Kendrick [Lamar] to get a hot 16 from him. I like Nas. I’ve also wanted to work with a lot of these cats, so we’ll see how it turns out. But I’ll tell you this, it’s going to be banging.
Follow Warren G on twitter @regulator.
Watch the video for Warren G's classic song "Regulate" below.