Rebuilding Hip-Hop Block By Block


Some of you reading this may or may not know of Russell “Block” Spencer. You may have seen him in a few video’s with Diddy or Gorilla Zoe.  You may have even heard of his empire Block Entertainment. However, you probably have no clue the impact that he has made and continues to make on some of your favorite songs by some of your favorite artists.   From very humble beginnings to becoming the President of Bad Boy South, Block’s imprint is now being felt on a variety of projects. Along with his partner Allen Stark, we can expect to hear and see much more from Block Entertainment.  From rap music to reality shows and movies, there truly is nothing that Block cannot take and rebuild. Tell me about your new project Rebuilding Hip-Hop Block By Block.

Block: I’m doing a new thing called Rebuilding Hip-Hop Block By Block. So, basically what I am doing is I’m going around to ten untapped markets. I’m going to partner up with guys who are running their own s**t. I’m partnering up with execs instead of artists. They have their own label but they just need the guy to connect the dots. A lot of us who are in the hood, or in the streets period, or just outside that circle,  don’t have the inside scoop or the real inside details on deals. People think that it is not ran by a secret society; the music business itself is a secret society. No one out-rapped the next man, it is all about who you know. So, the partners, they all have their own smaller labels.

Block: Yeah, they all have their own smaller label. It’s called Alamob Ent. They have their own artists. We are going to take them to the forefront of the music business. I’m going to show them the game. Allen [CEO and President of Alamob Records] tell me about the merger. How did it start and what does it mean?

Allen Starks: Both Block and I have a friend named Carl Moore. He is a Grammy award winning Producer. He scouted us for a year and he brought us to Block. That was two years ago. What is the background of Alamob Records?

Allen Starks: I have several artists. We have clothing lines. It was just to a point where Block said that he wanted to merge with us and go from there. Just like Puffy did him. Is this all in connection with your incubator deal?

Block: It incorporates into that. That is what this is going to turn into. Atlantic opened up a new section of the label called ADA where they focus on partnerships with independent label heads. We can be Indie all we want but we still will have something left. There still is money out there to get. Sometimes we don’t have the money or the means to get that other bread that is out there. So what we do is build the relationship with the parent company Atlantic and they have all of the money and relationships. That is how we are going to empower the future. Allen, your merger with Block is going to take you guys world wide.

Allen Starks: Yeah, that was a purpose behind the merger with Block. He had all of the plugs. I had to reach out with them so that we could go mainstream. I’m trying to make it as far as I can. Block, the ADA deal is with Atlantic and not with Sony.

Block: Yes. These are two different situations.

“Ross stayed at my house for three years and we were grinding out the Cartel Movement” You have worked with some of the hottest rappers in the game, Young Jeezy, Gorilla Zoe and so on.  Budding Hip-Hop artists want to know. What is some of the criteria that you look for when deciding if you are going to work with an artist?

Block: Well, let me give you a run down on Block. A lot of people may not remember. I cam into the game with Tupac. Tupac was living in Atlanta at the time with the Outlawz. I was more like family and friends as oppossed ot be being in the game at that time. So, then I partnered up with Suave House. Tony Draper has worked with 8Ball & MJG, Tela and so on. Then I worked with Noon Time Records. They have worked with Mary J. Blige, Beyonce and so on.. I was an A and R for them. When I was at Suave House I discovered an artist named Lil Noah. He was one of my first official acts. While working with Suave House, is when I partnered up with Tony Draper and we discovered Rick Ross. Back then he was the Teflon Don. Ross stayed at my house for three years and we were grinding out the Cartel Movement.  That deal did not really work because Tony Draper dropped from the music scene for a little bit. So then me and Greg Streetz partnered up with Ted Lucas and Slip-N-Slide Records. Ted paid Tony and got Rick Ross. We took him to Def Jam and we did a partnership with that.  Then I had Yung Joc, Gorilla Zoe, Boys N The Hood. Then I signed with Puff [Diddy] and Puff made me Bad Boy South President. I’m Bad Boy South President forever. It was an agreement we did. We made a lot of money together. I wear a lot of hats. Label deal with Sony, Bad Boy, Atlantic. I was working with Chris Lighty but now I have to see how that deal is going to do.  But when I look into an artist, they have to do more than just rap.  A lot of people can rap but people have to buy into you… You have to have a persona.

Block: Right. You have to have that “it”…. Like this dude just walked in and looked like a Star! You have to be born with it. You can’t create it.  Puff had it. Pac had it. Biggie had it. Bow Wow had it. Lil Wayne had it. When I first met Lil Wayne he was 14 years old. He has been my friend ever since. Out of all of the Hot Boyz, I knew that boy right there was going to pop. It wasn’t about the lyrical skills at that time. Sometimes, there is only so much you can rap about. But you can always spring board and do more things. If you have that “it” about you then you can sell cologne like Puff does. If you have the “it”, people will buy into you and buy your brand. Ciroq been out for years. But Puff put his “it” on it and now it is the number one Vodka.  Once I have that “it” I put them in the studio and develop the artist. I could have five artists waiting on the sideline. The one with the “it” will come first. I don’t give a damn who was first, second, third. The Rebuilding Hip-Hop Block By Block project is your newest line up of artists. Who can we expect to pop from there?

Block: Kris Kelli. She is a Pop/R and B artist from Jamaica. She has been doing Regaee for seven or eight years. Now she is coming over to the Pop/R&B world. She is a super star. Well developed. I also have 48 Slim. He is out on bond right now. But he is dope. He reminds me of Cube when Cube was showing his everyday in the hood type s**t.  People who can paint a picture of their everyday life. All of that popping bottles in the club, and selling drugs, people get tired of that s**t. People want to relate to a day in the hood. Whether you work at Macys or in the mall.

Allen Starks: One of the artists is Mafioso Mook. My other artist is Mafioso Low. He is my brother and co-CEO of the company. He is the main artist right now. Is it true that you also have a deal with the Urban Wrestling Foundation?

Block: Yeah, it is true.  You can say that I am a part of that empire as well. Also, I am the Music Supervisor for NBC Universal.  I put songs in the shows and in the movies with NBC Universal. Right now I am working on a movie with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart called Riding Along. They play police officers, it is a comedy. I am handling all of the music for the soundtrack. I am also going to work on Fast and Furious 7 soundtrack.