by Zaria Sims for Urban Mindz
Millionaire mogul, Diddy, created an influential platform for creatives to align in an engaging, educational way. The three-day REVOLT Summit (Sept.12 - Sept.14) provided Atlanta, Georgia with an atmosphere of fun, learning, honesty, and collaboration. Among the star-studded attendees was a gathering of industry artists and executives ranging from political activists, movie producers, A&R reps, record labels, and others. Together, they sat down to tackle controversial issues plaguing black communities as well as the music industry. The purpose of the REVOLT Summit is to foster unification within the hip hop community by providing education on a multitude of genres, with topics ranging from politics, finances, music, and social media marketing.
By late summer, the conference garnered an ample amount of publicity, stemming from a panel of unlike-minded individuals who were prepared to discuss voting in America. When the time came, a conservative, democrat, and nonpartisan political activist all shared an informative, heated debate on the topic of "Hip Hop & Politics". Candace Owens, a Republican politician, spoke to the audience about the benefits of the Republican Party and Trump's administration. With the 2020 election approaching, Owens wants to implore black voters to cross over from the Democratic party as she feels it would be in the best interest of black Americans. On the contrary, Hip Hop artist T.I. has always been outspoken about his disdain for the current President, his administration, and Republicans in general. In his opinion, the Trump administration does not value black lives, voters, nor economics, and should not be supported by anyone of color, due to his refusal to denounce white supremacy.
To gain clarity of Owens' stance for supporting Trump, T.I. posed a question to his fellow panel member asking, "When you say 'Make America Great Again', which period are you talking about? The period when women couldn't vote? The period when we were hanging from trees? The crack era? Which period in America are you trying to make America like again?" Owens responded, stating that "slavery was all over the world." The crowd erupted in an uproar of boos, leading to Owens being unable to communicate her point of view entirely.
As Owens and T.I. sparred back and forth, Killer Mike stepped in to moderate both sides of the argument claiming that the two were arguing over who had the "best masters." Killer Mike believed that the debate regarding political parties was nonproductive. Instead, he stated that "the most important thing is self-organizing." to elaborate on his point, he went on to state that "By the time we get to a candidate, we should have a list that says, 'White man, white woman, these are our demands. You can meet them and get our vote or not'." In conclusion, the key takeaway for the audience was that collaboration, regardless of political allegiances, is the best approach towards gaining more political power for the African American people.
Despite some of the heated debates, there were many moments of positive dialogue. The summit planted a range of motivational seeds into the audience, including the following inspirational words that one could ponder when managing a business or dealing with everyday life:
On Female Collaboration:
“I think we need to know that collaboration is essential, and it’s something that benefits everyone.” - Latrice Burnette (GM of Island Records)
Burnette is the Vice President and GM of Island Records, as well as a marketing legend. She is the front runner for branding campaigns for some of the most popular artists in the Hip Hop industry, and it was surely no easy feat to get to where she is today.
"I learned to keep saying 'be humble, keep working, don’t ever get satisfied'. I learned that you can’t get an ego, you gotta know that you’re gonna have some failures” - Timbaland
Timbaland is an American producer, best known for his work with artists like Aaliyah, Missy Elliot, OneRepublic, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z. With four Grammys and over 21 nominations, it is safe to say that Timbaland is always working. According to him, he doesn’t let failures or pride get in the way of his ultimate vision.
“You have to make something so good that people cannot ignore you.” - Jermaine Dupri
Dupri was born in Asheville, North Carolina, but raised in Atlanta. The record executive/producer has been in the music industry for over 25 years and has worked with more recording artists than many people meet within a lifetime. He stressed to the audience that quality mixed with creativity is the secret recipe to success.
“To anybody out there that’s lost or confused, or feeling like giving up, or you just don’t know what to do, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. You can do anything that you truly put your mind to, but in order to do it, you have to first attempt. You have to try. Nobody is going to give you anything in life, ever.” - Lil Yachty
Yachty joined Quality Control’s label in 2016 at the mere age of 17. With his surefire song writing skills and innovativeness, he has been able to attain and maintain a level of success that most people his age could ever dream. As Yachty matures within the music industry, he will continue to share with his fans all the skills, lessons, and mottos he used to keep going during times of weariness and confusion. Anybody with big dreams and a big purpose can relate.
“The worst thing you can do in business is to compromise your integrity of who you are for a check.” - Jeezy
Rapper, Jeezy, stepped into the REVOLT Summit to remind the us that money should not define who we are, nor cause us to neglect our morals and values. The Atlanta native is well respected in the music industry for his track record of success and ability to overcome obstacles, which has led him to get to where he is today.