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Rick Edwards - Makaveli Branded

Posted by Menace on 07 Mar 2006 23:21

MT: Before we start, for those that don't know you, introduce yourself to the Mixtapetalk Family.

Rick Edwards: What's up Mixtapetalk its Rick Edwards VP/Director of Marketing of MAKAVELI BRANDED, the one and only official clothing line of TUPAC SHAKUR.

MT: Prior to working for Makaveli-Branded, how did you get your start in the fashion industry?

Rick Edwards: I started out as an Event Promoter, Model, and regional promotional/marketing company. I went to the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Las Vegas is the home of the MAGIC SHOW, which is the largest Fashion Trade Show in the world. I would put together some of the biggest MAGIC parties for different clothing companies which helped me develop key relationships. When I returned to NYC in 2000, I worked in Music and Marketing department at ESCO.

MT: Describe your daily duties as VP/Director of Marketing for Makaveli-Branded.

Rick Edwards: The great thing about my position is each day is different. I handle all the marketing from A to Z. I spend time answering emails, placing product in magazines, videos, etc… I also handle all the advertising campaigns, media buys, budgets, events, sponsorships, press and publicity. My duties also entail developing international license relationships and coordinating marketing throughout different International territories. We also just launched the MAKAVELI BRANDED shoe division. The MAKAVELI BRANDED sneakers will be available at retail this Spring of 2006.

MT: What's the most challenging part of your job?

Rick Edwards: The most challenging aspect would be to stretch each dollar and stay within a limited budget.

MT: Was there ever a time when you thought you might not succeed in the industry?

Rick Edwards: No, I am definitely confident and focused. I have always had the drive and determination to persevere through adversity and trying times. The key to success is your work ethic and in my case my faith in God. I enjoy the challenge of achieving my goals and my goal is to become a Mogul within the Music, Fashion, and Entertainment world. I have passion and love for what I do so failure is not an option.

MT: Jumping into a more general question; how do you feel about the state of hip-hop fashion?

Rick Edwards: Hip Hop fashion is always evolving and changing. I do not like that the creativity is not always there and that there is a lot of mimicking and copying of the "IN" brand or brands. I think Hip Hop fashion has become an important factor in both popular culture and Hip Hop culture. That's important because it solidifies Hip Hop influenced fashion will always exist.

MT: What separates Makaveli-Branded from the competition?

Rick Edwards: MAKAVELI BRANDED is not just a clothing company, it's a global movement. It is another avenue to continue Tupac's legacy. MAKAVELI BRANDED delivers a message, supports a Non profit organization (THE TUPAC AMARU SHAKUR FOUNDATION), and is combined effort with Tupac's films and music.

MT: You just signed Chamillionaire and DJ Quik to be featured in the tribute ads for spring 2006, why were they a good fit?

Rick Edwards: The spring tribute Ad campaign is both Chamillionaire and DJ Quik. Chamillionaire was a good fit because I admire his work ethic and I felt he was instrumental in bringing the city of Houston to the forefront on the musical scene. Chamillionaire is a national artist; however he also built himself from a Mixtape, grass root, and underground level.

DJ Quik is a West Coast legend and he had the opportunity to develop a friendship and musical relationship with Tupac. I felt Quik was a great fit to represent MAKAVELI BRANDED and this ad is very important because Quik is the first west coast artist to participate in the Tribute Ad campaign.

MT: Alright Rick, let's jump into the music side of things. From what I understand you're managing some artists, right now.

Rick Edwards: Yes, I currently manage artists:

ROMEY from Chicago is the future of Hip Hop. He is 6'6, the Michael Jordan of Rap. Romey has the combination of a smooth delivery, strong swagger, and the ability to write quality songs that separate him from other artists. We have a whole movement of GET RICH RECORDS artists in the pipeline: check us out @ www.myspace.com/getrichrecords

Benny Cassette is from LA. The key with Benny is that he is cut from the same cloth and compared too: Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Black Eye Peas, and even the Beastie Boys. These comparisons are made because Benny is self produced and has quality music that has worldwide and commercial appeal. Benny has worked with DMX, Ghostface, Kelis, Timbaland, Talib Kweli, and others as a producer. Check him out @ www.myspace.com/bennycassette

MT: Benny Cassette has a mixtape out with DJ warrior, and Romey is about to drop a Mixtape/DVD with Sickamore, what can you tell us about these projects?

Rick Edwards: Actually we are about to drop the Benny Cassette: Welcome to The Jungle Mixtape, Hosted by DJ Warrior in the next few weeks. The Mixtape is a concept Mixtape fully produced by Benny Cassette in which Benny flips some historical classic records. The Mixtape is fire and all ready got a nice buzz and the streets anticipating. The combination of the West Coast Mixtape King DJ Warrior and a diversified artist like Benny was a great look.

Romey's Mixtape and DVD Hosted by Sickamore (I CAN MAKE YOU FAMOUS) is called THE CHICAGO TAKOVER. This project will introduce the streets and the industry into the life of ROMEY. We got footage of him performing, interviews, Romey's music video, photo shoots, studio sessions, and other behind the scenes imagery on the DVD. The DVD has Jim Jones, Fabolous, John Monopoly and other industry heavyweights on there as well. The music is a collection of originals and freestyles of Romey and the Get Rich Records camp.

We are also putting a special remixed version of this Mixtape just for Chicago that will be hosted by Midwest DJ of the year, DJ G Spot.

MT: You also have your own production company; can you tell us more about that?

Rick Edwards: My production company is called the THE STUDIO BEATZ. The name is a reflection of what we love to do, which is stay in the studio making music and making beats. We actually have a song called Barbershop on this upcoming Ghostface release, Fishscale. I am also working on securing placements with some other Superstar/national artists that I am affiliated with. Beyond that, we are the in house production team for Romey and I am currently working with and developing some other acts that will make some major noise in this game. Shout outs to Mistah FAB and Roccett, the future is ours.

MT: In the next 5 years, where do you see yourself; what are your goals?

Rick Edwards: As I stated my goals are to become a mogul. I want to continue to grow as a person and a businessman. I see myself as a CEO, an A & R, a producer, a fashion executive/entrepreneur and also a music executive/entrepreneur. We are building movements and brands, not just artists. I have the opportunity to utilize my marketing talents and my musical talents, combine the two and become a one stop company that scouts the next SUPERSTARS, develops the next Superstars, and breaks the next superstars.

MT: Anything else you want to tell our viewers?

Rick Edwards: Thank everyone for there support of MAKAVELI BRANDED, check out the website www.makaveli-branded.com and www.myspace.com/makavelibrandedclothing. I want to thank Chamillionaire and DJ Quik for supporting the movement. Thanks mixtapetalk.com for the opportunity and the love. God Bless


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