8 Black Music Moguls You Should Know

When we think of a “music mogul” – we often think of more visible names like Jay-Z, Diddy, Missy Elliott, or Queen Latifah but there are other moguls building behind the scenes who deserve their due. 

Here are 8 music moguls you should know:

photo credit: The Atlanta Voice

Kevin “Coach K” Lee & Pierre “Pee” Thomas

  • Who? Founders, Quality Control Music – home to Migos, Cardi B, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby and City Girls
  • Why you should know him? In just 5 years, QCM has built a rap empire with platinum records, charting singles and millions of dollars counting up every day.
  • Favorite quote: “Do you know what I had to do to get my first half a million dollars? I can’t even tell you—but it wasn’t easy.” – Coach K
Photo Credit: Photo by Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA/REX/Shutterstock (9264473br) Steve Stoute A New Chance: A Collaboration with SocialWorks and Google, Chicago, USA – 06 Dec 2017

Steve Stoute

  • Who? Former CEO of Translation and current Founder at United Masters
  • Why you should know him? Stoute is taking his decades of experience working with artists like Jay-Z and Nas to create an innovative platform that will empower artists to own their masters and profit the most from their work. Record labels are shook. 
  • Best quote: “Learn to fall in love with the pain of hard work.”
photo credit: BAUCE Magazine

Anastasia Wright

Who? Owner, IMG Agency & Record Label and Vice President of Digital Media, Rhythm Nation

Who you should know her? Between her role working with Janet Jackson, where she has transformed the icon’s digital presence, to her own indie label where she’s garnered brand partnerships with Airbnb and Spirit Airlines, – Wright continues to prove to be a major force to be reckoned with.

Favorite quote: “If you embrace who you are, it will open doors, not shut them.”

photo credit: Forbes

Dave Free

Who? Top Dog Entertainment’s resident multi-hyphenate executive who collaborates with artists to produce everything from albums to music videos and tours. 

Why you should know him? He’s already proven what he can do with Kendrick, SZA and Jay Rock but I would keep my focus on what Free chooses to get into next as it will undoubtedly be innovative and fly AF.

Favorite quote: “You have to have a desire, an unbroken desire, to be successful.  You have to see every opportunity and make something of every opportunity.”

photo credit: tadias.com

Ethiopia Habtemariam

Who? President, Motown Records

Why you should know her?  She’s one of the few Black women at the helm of a major record label with a track record of partnering with up and coming talent including Zaytoven and Since the ’80s.

Favorite quote: “Real initiatives need to be put in place. If the people working on a project don’t look like the people you’re trying to touch with your records, there’s a problem.”

photo credit: Billboard

Kevin Liles

  • Who? CEO, 300 Entertainment
  • Why you should know him?  His company is one of the leading indie labels in rap with Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug and Trey Songz on their ever growing roster. 
  • Best quote: “Music has not always been just the soundtrack to my life, but it has also saved my life. In music, I find hope, inspiration, love, and spirituality. To me, it is as important as blood; I can’t live without it.”
photo credit: hiphopeducation.com

Chaka Pilgrim

  • Who? Former President, Roc Nation & current Head of Film and TV, Shawn Carter Enterprises
  • Why you should know her? Leading the charge on production for The Kalief Browder Story, Pilgrim is leveraging Roc Nation’s influence to tell important stories and impact social justice.
  • Best quote: “Humility is key if you really want to know what you’re doing. I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that I immerse myself in the process because it’s really immersive. And I think you don’t know what situation you can learn from, but I’m going back to that place in my life of trying to figure it out. “

Who are some of your favorites Black Music moguls? Let us know by emailing hello@themogulmillennial.com and we may shout you out on our social media!

feature photo credit: Billboard

Written by Denayja Reese

Denayja Reese, Founder of GWTL Productions, is an Experiences and Content Producer who produces inspiring work in the in Music, Entertainment and Fashion industries. She is currently working on a multi-media project to help support Black millennials who are doing the work of healing for future generations. You can follow her at @gwtlp on Instagram.