Hall of Fame 003: Sickamore
Music is important to me. I've always known that I wanted to make a living being involved in it. I just didn't know-how. I knew for sure that I didn't want to rap. I started making beats in high school, but my lack of patience wouldn't allow me to see it all the way through. I wanted to be good at making beats immediately which is a terrible way to approach anything you're interested in. By the time I started college, I had considered it a pipe dream. There were a few figures in the music industry that I saw making a wave which inspired me to get back into pursuing a role in music, specifically as an A&R. One of those people is Sickamore.
I was semi-aware of how big he was in the mixtape circuit when I was a kid, but I didn't follow his career closely after that. Outside of being a rapper or a DJ, I didn't know about all of the positions that are in the music industry. I knew I wanted to help create albums and develop talent. I just didn't know what that was called. When I found out the name of the position (A&R), all I saw were guys that look like businessmen. It rubbed me the wrong way because I know I'm the exact opposite of a suit & tie. It looked their jobs were devoid of any creativity which pushed me even further away from it. Sickamore changed my perception of what an A&R could be. I saw a guy that came up making a killing in the mixtape game and applied some of that approach to creating albums. That's a skill that I admire. Being apart of albums that create a shift in the culture I love is a big goal of mine and he's been able to do that with YG and Travis.
Before his success with those two, he went through managing Nicki Minaj and falling out with her while watching her success. Around that same time, he was bumping heads with a few of the heads of Atlantic Records. Went from there to start his agency called The Famous Firm which came with its challenges. The journey comes with rough patches. Those are the parts of a person's story that I'm always interested in the most. It's easy to get lost in someone's wins because that's what's always shown the most, but I like to see the process more than the destination. Working with YG and Travis Scott is also apart of that process. I imagine having to take YG from a rapper that's mostly accepted only on the west coast to a household name was stressful, but they broke the mold with "My Krazy Life". Travis made a really big impact with "Days Before Rodeo", but now you have to follow that up with making a debut album that has to be just as good critically and commercially. "Rodeo" proved to be a success.
Going from a mixtape DJ to one of the most prominent A&Rs in hip hop is an uphill climb, but the results of hard work and consistency are worth it. I accepted that the path of working in the music industry is a tough one but seeing people like Sickamore make it to the position that he's in motivates me. I don't know anyone in the music business or even anyone adjacent to that industry. I'm still going for it. I don't think Sickamore had a clue of how he wanted to shape his career when he left Atlantic, but he took that leap of faith. 6 albums later (My Krazy Life, Still Krazy, Stay Dangerous, Rodeo, Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight and Astroworld) and I'm sure he's glad he took that risk. Money doesn't motivate me, as crazy as that sounds. I just want to be dope. That's it. I want my name in the history books for hip hop's greatest A&Rs ever. I want to create shifts in the culture. Without a doubt, Sickamore has already done that.
"There's never been a point in my life where it hasn't been for the culture.... Everything I ever do is for the culture" - Sickamore