Monday, November 30, 2009

Does MTV still have this kind of power?

I'm sure there are much better examples but this was one I was a part of...

In 1999, while I was an executive at MTV. Rob Stone (Cornerstone, Fader) sent me this "Best of Hip Hop 1999" Cornerstone Mixtape by DJ Greenlantern. I loved it. It was all I listened to for months.

At the time, I was in charge of finding different hosts and DJ's to come on to MTV's DFX (The Hip Hop version of TRL). Funkmaster Flex was our house DJ but occasionally we needed someone to fill in for him. I had no idea who Greenlantern was at the time but I had to meet him. Rob set up the meeting. After, I knew this was our guy. It didn't come without resistance. It got really political inside the building for me. Understandably, they wanted names. It's TV.

I was so gassed by the mixtape, I decided to go out on a limb. I did the "if were gonna try to have a credible hip hop show... we need someone like this" dance for my boss. "Fuck goin with a name... let's get someone who represents the music. We make the names!"

They bought it! They let me have my guy. He didn't get on all that much (Flex never got sick!) but he got on enough to catch the attention of the rest of the music business.

The credibility of being on MTV seemed to give birth to other opportunities. At the end of the day, they're all star fuckers in our business. Everyone was probably scratching their heads... "Who the hell is Greenlantern and why is he subbing for Flex?" Even Flex wanted to know what was up. He said, "What about Primo?" I said, "Yes, he's dope too but I wanted this guy."

To be honest, if Flex didn't want Green on the show, he woulda never been on. But, to his credit, he said it was cool. "Let the kid get some shine." (for the record, we used Primo too, I'm passionate but I'm not an idiot)

After just a few shows on MTV, he later became an on-air personality on Hot 97 which led to goin out on tour with Eminem, Jay-Z and Nas as their DJ's.

It's kinda sick how the world works.

Like I said in the previous post, talent rises to the top.

Check out the mixtape that made me a fan.

"Best of 1999 - DJ Greenlantern"

(thanks to zd johnson for sending me this mixtape)