This historic conversation series will feature Daymond John in one-on-one discussions with Black business leaders and cultural icons including Anthony Anderson, Cedric the Entertainer, SHAQ, Ice-T, & Whoopi Goldberg Expect to learn, be inspired, and take actionable items away from these one-of-a-kind conversations powered by The General Insurance.
Anthony Anderson is an American actor, comedian and game show host who is known for playing Louis Booker from Kangaroo Jack, Glen Whitmann from Transformers, Ray Ray from The Proud Family and Antwon Mitchell from The Shield. He also acted in Blackish, Hoodwinked, The Departed, Agent Cody Banks 2 and Scream 4.
CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER
Over the course of a career spanning 30 years, actor/comedian Cedric “The Entertainer” has solidified his status as one of the world’s premier performers on the stage, in film and on television.
Currently starring in and executive producing the CBS Television hit comedy “The Neighborhood,” Cedric is simultaneously co-starring in the hit TBS comedy “The Last O.G.”, opposite Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish. His other noteworthy television credits include the comedy series “The Soul Man,” which he co-created and executive produced through his production company A Bird And A Bear Entertainment; “The Steve Harvey Show, for which he received four NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy; the sketch comedy series “Cedric the Entertainer Presents, which he starred in and executive produced and garnered the AFTRA Award of Excellence for; served as host of season 12 of the hit game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire; and was featured as the voice of Bobby Proud in the Disney animated series “The Proud Family”, for which he also earned an NAACP Image Award.
Cedric’s versatile film work spans genres from the comedic: highlighted by his memorable performances in the hit “Barbershop” franchise, starring in and producing “Johnson Family Vacation,” and “The Original Kings of Comedy” concert film which chronicled his record breaking Kings of Comedy Tour with fellow comedians Steve Harvey, D.L Hughley and the late Bernie Mac; to the dramatic with Paul Schrader’s critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated drama “First Reformed,” co-starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried. And his signature baritone voice has been heard in such animated hits as Disney’s “Madagascar” and “Planes” franchises, “Ice Age 2” and “Dr. Dolittle 2” among many others.
He will next be seen in yet another dramatic role portraying legendary civil rights activist and leader, Ralph Abernathy, in the upcoming feature film, “Son Of The South”, executive produced by Spike Lee and directed by Lee’s long-time editor, Barry Alexander Brown; “The Opening Act,” about a group of comedians trying to breakthrough in the stand-up comedy world; and will soon begin production of the sequel to his hit “Johnson Family Vacation,” for which he will once again star in and produce.
Never resting on his laurels and with stand up being his first love, Cedric continues to hone and perfect his craft performing live shows across the country on his own handpicked comedy dates, having recently wrapped a highly successful 4 year run on THE COMEDY GET DOWN TOUR with fellow funny men George Lopez, D.L.Hughley, and Eddie Griffin (2014 – 2018).
In July 2018, the actor and comedian was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Just months later, in December 2018, Cedric’s hometown of St Louis, Missouri named a street in his honor, Cedric The Entertainer Way, in recognition of his far-reaching career achievements and dedicated philanthropy through his Cedric the Entertainer/Kyles Family Charitable Foundation.
4X NBA Champion, Sports Analyst, DJ, Philanthropist, and Investor
Born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 6, 1972, Shaquille O’Neal is considered to be one of the most dominant basketball players in NBA history. At 7 ft 1 in tall and weighing 325 pounds, Shaq’s larger-than-life personality and powerful athleticism have resulted in worldwide adulation and one of the most passionate fan bases in sports and entertainment.
Shaquille O’Neal’s off-court accolades rival his athletic accomplishments, having found success in acting, music, television, gaming and as an entrepreneur. Currently, Shaq is an analyst on Inside The NBA, on the board of Papa John’s Pizza in addition to being partner and investor in numerous other businesses.
Philanthropically, Shaquille’s relationship with the Boys & Girls Club of America dates back to his youth in New Jersey. As a national spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, he has been participating in campaigns with the non-profit company for the past 15 years.
Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in the Chelsea section of Manhattan on November 13, 1955. Her mother, Emma (Harris), was a teacher and a nurse, and her father, Robert James Johnson, Jr., was a clergyman. Whoopi’s recent ancestors were from Georgia, Florida, and Virginia. She worked in a funeral parlor and as a bricklayer while taking small parts on Broadway. She moved to California and worked with improv groups, including Spontaneous Combustion, and developed her skills as a stand-up comedienne. Goldberg came to prominence doing an HBO special and a one-woman show as Moms Mabley. She has been known in her prosperous career as a unique and socially conscious talent with articulately liberal views. Among her boyfriends were Ted Danson and Frank Langella. Goldberg was married three times and was once addicted to drugs.
Goldberg had her first big film starring role in The Color Purple (1985). She received much critical acclaim, and an Oscar nomination for her role and became a major star as a result. Subsequent efforts in the late 1980s were, at best, marginal hits. These movies mostly were off-beat to formulaic comedies like Burglar (1987), The Telephone (1988) and Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986). She made her mark as a household name and a mainstay in Hollywood for her Oscar-winning role in the box office smash Ghost (1990). Whoopi Goldberg was at her most famous in the early 1990s, making regular appearances on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). She admitted to being a huge fan of the original Star Trek (1966) series and jumped at the opportunity to star in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.
Goldberg received another smash hit role in Sister Act (1992). Her fish-out-of-water with some flash seemed to resonate with audiences and it was a box office smash. Whoopi starred in some highly publicized and moderately successful comedies of this time, including Made in America (1993) and Soapdish (1991). Goldberg followed up to her success with Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), which was well-received but did not seem to match up to the first.
As the late 1990s approached, Goldberg seemed to alternate between lead roles in straight comedies such as Eddie (1996) and The Associate (1996), and took supporting parts in more independent minded movies, such as The Deep End of the Ocean (1999) and How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998). Goldberg never forgot where she came from, hosting many tributes to other legendary entertainment figures. Her most recent movies include Rat Race (2001) and the quietly received Kingdom Come (2001). Goldberg contributes her voice to many cartoons, including The Pagemaster (1994) and Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990), as Gaia, the voice of the earth. Alternating between big-budget movies, independent movies, tributes, documentaries, and even television movies (including Theodore Rex (1995)).
Whoopi is accredited as a truly unique and visible talent in Hollywood. Perhaps she will always be remembered as well for Comic Relief, playing an integral part in almost every benefit concert they had. Whoopi is also the center square in Hollywood Squares (1998), sometimes hosts the Academy Awards, and is an author, with the book “Book.”
Cari Champion is currently Host of her eponymous daily show, The Cari Champion Show. The Cari Champion Show airs on Amazon Prime Video under their new Sports Talk banner, and gives fans an unfiltered look at sports, culture and lifestyle from CARI’s witty, unapologetic lens, and the role they play in our everyday lives. A broadcast journalist, Champion also currently serves as a regular News Contributor for CNN.
With her limitless influence across all mediums, audiences also enthusiastically tune into Champion on her Naked with Cari Champion podcast presented by iHeartMedia. Launched in the Summer of 2021, the podcast showcases Cari’s authentic interview style that brings refreshing and nuanced conversations to the forefront from thought-leaders and culture-shifters within the entertainment industry.
In 2020, Champion had made history with her move to Vice TV, working alongside Jemele Hill as the first Black women to host a late-night cable news and information show, Cari & Jemele: Stick to Sports. She also recently served as Host of TNT’s The Arena, a thought-provoking forum for provocative topics from the most popular voices in sports. In addition, she served as co-anchor of NBC’s primetime studio show, Tokyo Tonight on NBC’s Peacock Channel during the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, as well as co-host of NBC’s reality competition series The Titan Games.
Champion’s previous work included courtside reporting for The Tennis Channel. She spent time at ESPN as an Anchor and Host on Sports Center: Coast To Coast, SportsNation, and First Take. She continues to break barriers, paving the way for younger women of color who aspire to pursue a career in sports television and other areas within broadcasting through her foundation Brown Girls Dream. She currently resides in Los, Angeles, CA where she enjoys sipping wine and practicing yoga!
Professional Tennis Player and Founder of The Sloane Stephens Foundation
Sloane Stephens is an American professional tennis player, Grand Slam Champion, and Olympian. In her historic 2017 comeback following a devastating foot injury and grueling rehab, she rose from No. 957 entering Wimbledon to become the US Open Champion in only two months. Sloane has been ranked as high as world number 3 on the WTA Tour and has won eight tournaments to-date, most recently in Saint Malo, France in May 2023. She is also a French Open Finalist, WTA Year-End Finalist, and Australian Open Semi-Finalist.
Off the court, Sloane is a leader and advocate, previously serving as a Top-20 representative on the WTA Player Council. She is proudly an investor, entrepreneur, social activist, and philanthropist. Through her eponymous foundation, Sloane has served over 15,000 youth through programs in Compton, CA, and South Florida and was named a finalist for the ESPN Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award in 2019 and winner of the Sports Business Journal Celebration of Service Award in 2023. Sloane and her husband, soccer player Jozy Altidore, were honored by Hope for Haiti in November 2022 for the school they constructed in the southern Haitian community of Boisrond.
During Alex’s career Alibaba, he has served as director of marketing and business development leading the market entry of Alibaba.com into the Latin America region and helped build the market presence in the region from the ground up. He has also served as the Head of Licensing and Partnerships for Alibaba Group’s Digital Media and Entertainment business, spearheaded media entertainment licensing and commercial partnerships in US and Europe region.
Prior to joining Alibaba.com, Alex spent more than 5 years managing PayPal global digital marketing strategies, analytics, and operations for both domestic and international markets covering 120 countries. And prior to PayPal, Alex worked at HSBC Bank as an analyst and product marketing manager focusing in growing the company’s financial service business.
Alex is an University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) graduate with double degrees in economics and sociology.
BODHI is a 21-year-old genre-blending alternative R&B artist from Norwalk, Connecticut whose music defies easy categorization. With an ethereal, other-worldly voice and penchant for unconventional production, Bodhi Kitt (a.k.a “Bodhi”) has carved out a unique place in the underground scene.
While most young teenage girls were busy on the phone talking about boys, Lex found herself set apart from that world as she became inspired by the notorious rapper, Rakim. His lyricism paved a path that over the next couple years helped her develop a talent that was undeniable! At age 12, she was introduced to a producer and his music studio which ultimately took her talent to the next level of writing, mixing, and recording her own songs. She was able to experiment with different sounds and beats and found that her versatility allowed her to explore a wide range of music styles. She has written over 400 songs over the years!
As a queer female rapper, she discovered that she was able to reach her peers with stories many could relate to. While Lex understood that an education was a good path for her after high school, finishing 2 years of college as a political science major; corruption within the political system began to affect her people directly and she realized that she wasn’t going to be able to contribute to changing the system quick enough as a legislator and therefore decided that her best opportunity for effecting change was through music. She set out to do just that, creating her own sound and platform. Lex wants to entice her audience with songs that spark their interest enough to keep listening. The unique beat selections and variable deliveries leave listeners wanting more. Her unreleased songs will take you on a medley of moods, all expressing thoughts that can reach many different generations and genres.
Since investing full time in her music over the last 4.5 years, Lex has toured all over the U.S and British Columbia. Lex has gained 176,000 TikTok followers with over 1.3 million video likes, 240,000 Monthly Spotify Listeners and over 10 million streams on all streaming platforms. 100,000 Instagram followers, 24,000 YouTube subscribers, Lex has also landed on YouTube videos with over 20+ million views. All of this being completely independent with No management, No agents, No Labels or Distribution Deals, no more than $50 spent on google ads, facebook ads, etc, this is all strictly through the power of social media and word of mouth.
As she continues to grow her brand as the artist known as “Lex Bratcher,” she has increased the number of followers and fans by the thousands, from features with Tech N9ne, Joyner Lucas, Connor Price, along with a few songs with artists such as Futuristic, large youtubers such as Crypt (1.2 million subscribers) and Rustage (1.5 million subscribers) , as well as appearances with popular producers such as Kato on the Track. She’s had cosigns AND/OR social media follows by Logan Paul, T-pain, Macklemore, Meghan Trainor, Paul Wall, JID, Nardwaur, Sway (in the morning), LA Leakers, Justincredible and so many more. Song placement on NBA 2k23 as well as new placements coming up on major TV shows. Lex will leave a lasting imprint on the music industry as a whole with her amazing writing skills, ability to ride a beat & flow, witty bars and pure determination, she’s a sure win!
Reyna Roberts is the daughter of Army Veterans – born in Alaska, raised in Alabama and California – Roberts is a rising star in country music and inspired by country, pop, rock, and hip-hop influences, including Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Led Zeppelin, and The Chicks. These influence have melded into a unique sound that is Robert’s own, defying the confines of traditional genre rules.
Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary (TriNet)
Samantha Wellington has served as Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of TriNet since April 2022. She leads a team of legal, compliance, government affairs and risk experts who focus on bringing their expertise to bear in service of TriNet’s stakeholders. She also leads TriNet’s tax credit business, which focuses on finding and maximizing tax credits for small and medium-size businesses, and TriNet’s assisted services business, which allows TriNet HRIS customers to acquire additional, specialized HR services such as audits, jurisdiction set up, and monitoring, filings, as well as payroll management and HR management. Samantha is a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) and is also a member of the board’s finance, oversight, and audit committee and Chair of the audit committee. She also sits on the board of the Business Software Alliance, the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. She is a trusted thought leader in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, ESG strategies, and the future of work, and serves as co-executive sponsor of the TNET pride colleague resource group.
Samantha joined TriNet in 2016 as vice president and associate general counsel and in 2018 she was appointed senior vice president, chief legal officer, and secretary. Prior to joining TriNet she was at Oracle Corporation where she was managing counsel for Oracle’s Corporate, Securities & Acquisitions legal team. She also served on the boards of directors of Oracle’s publicly held interests in India and Japan. At Oracle, she held several roles, managing commercial matters for key accounts in Asia Pacific and Japan, global integration and restructuring, and expansion into new and emerging markets.
She holds bachelor’s degrees in creative arts and laws from Wollongong University, as well as a Master of Laws in communication and technology law from the University of New South Wales. Samantha is admitted to practice law in both California and New South Wales, Australia.
Executive Vice President, Human Resources, and Chief Diversity Officer (LOWE’S)
As executive vice president, human resources, and chief diversity officer, Janice Dupré is responsible for the global human resources strategy practices and operations that enable Lowe’s to attract, motivate, develop and retain outstanding associates. She also oversees the company’s corporate communications, community relations, and corporate events planning and execution, and serves as chair of the Lowe’s Foundation. Janice joined Lowe’s as its first chief diversity officer in 2017.
Janice has 18 years of human resources and diversity and inclusion experience. Prior to her current role, she was senior vice president, diversity and talent management, which included learning and development, leadership development, Lowe’s University, trade skills programs, and succession planning. Throughout her time at Lowe’s, she has worked closely with leaders across the enterprise to expand and develop solutions that support Lowe’s mission and core behaviors while making diversity and inclusion a signature priority for the company. Before joining the company, she served as vice president, diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer, for McKesson Corp. She previously held several human resources leadership roles at Dell. Before transitioning into human resources, Janice had an extended career in finance and accounting with Dell, IBM and EY.
Janice earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA in finance and management from the University of Texas in Austin. She serves on the board of trustees of Johnson C. Smith University and the board of Disability:IN, is a member of the Executive Leadership Council and the CEO Roundtable Lieutenant Group, and is co-chair of the Charlotte campaign of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women. Among her many honors, Janice has been named to Diversity Woman Media’s Elite 100, twice made Black Enterprise’s list of Top Executives in Corporate Diversity, and was recognized as one of Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America. In 2023, she received the UNCF Maya Angelou Women Who Lead award.
Senior Vice President of Trailblazer Community (Salesforce)
Leah McGowen-Hare, Senior Vice President of Trailblazer Community, is passionate about empowering others to launch their own career in technology by making training accessible. A dynamic Master Technical Trainer at Salesforce with over 20 years of experience in tech, Leah commands a variety of roles as a consultant, software developer, manager, curriculum developer, and technical trainer. She’s one of the brains behind Be a Multiplier, a program that inspires people to skill up for the jobs of today and tomorrow through Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning system. Leah is the host for the award winning series Leading Through Change and co-producer for the Trailblazer Series on Salesforce+, Salesforce’s streaming platform. Leah uses her knowledge and experience to demystify technology and make it more accessible to youth, communities of color, and veterans through organizations like Black Girls Code, The Hidden Genius Project, Girls Who Code, and Salesforce’s Trailhead Military. Leah holds a master’s degree in education from California State University and a bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of the children’s book Charlie the Hotdog. Leah is married to Shane Hare, has three children, and enjoys working out and traveling with her family.
DR. KIESHA KING
Sr. National Education Administrator, T-Mobile for Business
Dr. Kiesha King is a passionate advocate for digital equity and ethical technology practices in education. She is currently serving as T-Mobile’s Senior National Education Administrator, leading a significant $10.7 billion program to bridge the digital divide. With over 20 years of experience reshaping education, she is a five-time published Forbes author with a global readership of over three million. Her work sheds light on critical issues at the intersection of technology and education, extending her influence as she leads national education strategy efforts for both K-12 and Higher Education. Dr. King’s remarkable achievements include recognition by the FCC for her role in driving student access and equity, impacting over 5.3 million students with improved access to educational resources. Beyond her professional accomplishments, she actively advocates for children’s needs, ensuring their voices are heard in technology and education advancements. Dr. Kiesha King’s journey reflects her tireless dedication and profound impact on millions of lives, shaping a brighter future for learners worldwide.
DR. ROBBIE MELTON
Provost/VP SMART Tech Innovations, Tennessee State University
Dr. Robbie K. Melton, selected as one of the 2023 Top 50 Women Leaders in Education, serves as Interim Provost/Vice President for Tennessee State University Academic Affairs and Vice President of Technology Innovations for the SMART Global Technology Innovation Center, and tenured professor at Tennessee State University. She serves as a global researcher and international consultant for SMART Artificial Intelligence (AI) an Academic eSports for Education and Emerging IOE (“The Internet of Everything”) Smart Mobile Technology of mobile devices, smart phone-tablets, wearables, smart gadgets and tools, and mixed reality of VR and AR. She formerly served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Emerging Technologies for the Tennessee Board of Regents and the primary developer and chief administrator for the system wide Regents Online Degree Programs. Her tributes include: The 2023 Top 50 Women Leaders in Education, 2019 USDLA Hall of Fame, 2018, Distinguished Women of Legend, 2017 OLC Leadership, 2016, WCET Life Time Achievement, 2014 Top 30 Technologists, 2013 Apple Distinguished Educator, 2012 Top Fifty Technology Innovator; and 2012 WOW EdTechnology Awards. She was a featured speaker at the International UNESCO Mobile Learning Symposium. She known as an ‘Appologist, for her extensive research of best practices with mobile devices (smart phone, tablets, wearable, and the creation of a Mobile App Resource Center. Currently advocating for Open Education Resources (OER) for global access to education content. Plus, serving as an Education Technology Trainers for Malawi and various countries in South Africa in promoting worldwide that “Everyone Can Code and Create” and “Academic eSports – Mixed Reality Gamification” for the new innovations of SMART Immersive Teaching and Learning and a passionate advocate for empowering underserved populations, especially Black females, in becoming innovators and entrepreneurs for the digital world.
Owner of Henry’s Soul Cafe
Jermaine Smith is a versatile professional, excelling in various roles such as restaurateur, consultant, business advisor, movie producer, talent agent, and manager. He is a self-taught “master chef” who regularly showcases his culinary talent and expertise by making frequent appearances on both regional and national televised news programs. He is recognized as one of the top soul food chefs in the country.
Private Chef and Owner of Chef Anthony Event
Chef Anthony Danero Thomas is a culinary virtuoso, nine-time author, and a passionate advocate for healthy living. With an impressive track record, he has earned a remarkable reputation, even garnering the attention of food critics at The Washington Post. His unwavering commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle through food resonates profoundly with audiences worldwide.
Owner of Capital City Mambo
Arsha Jones is the CEO and Co-Founder of Capital City. A native of Washington, D.C., she found herself missing the sauce she grew up with when she moved to the suburbs, yearning to share an authentic taste of D.C. with her family. In her kitchen, she frequently crafted mambo sauce for her boys and eventually realized its market potential. The Jones family has nurtured this home-based venture into a thriving company, sharing a cherished childhood product with an ever-expanding global audience.
Private Chef and Owner of What’s on the Menu?
Tina Gray, a Chicago native and culinary savant, initially began her culinary journey by cooking for friends and family during high school, unknowingly uncovering her true passion. In 2015, she moved to Los Angeles, where she caters for a wide array of clientele including Nas, Derrick Rose, Steve Rifkind, John Monopoly, Lil Rel, Lil Dirk, and Chief Keef. In 2020, she successfully launched the luxury hot sauce brand, Ruby.
With the levying stature of a goliath and the regal standing of a King, Rick Ross has lived up to his prophecy of being the “Biggest Boss.” The Miami Monster Mogul has evolved into not just hip-hop’s most respected and revered MC (in fact he was voted MTV’s “Hottest MC” of 2011), but as a label CEO and business entrepreneur, his resumé is as sterling as one of his platinum plaques.
God Forgives, I Don’t is Ross’ fifth solo album in six years, following in the recent success of five star acclaimed masterpieces Deeper Than Rap (2009), Teflon Don (2010) and classic team efforts with his Maybach Music Group, Self Made Vol. 1 and 2. By now, everyone that follows what Ross does, has been conditioned to expect nothing but a prolific output of the highest grade of music.
In a career that reaches new heights every year, God Forgives… is a milestone, the most anticipated rap project of all of 2012, as well as being the LP that will be the definitive work of art of the past decade.
“Without exaggeration, you just don’t hear this high of quality or precision of music,” Ross says about his opus. “I’ve mastered the art of devising classic albums, but this by far exceeds my prior excellence. I owe this to the fans and I owe it to myself to be the undeniable best.”
God Forgives… has a seamless blend of party hits and street certifiable bangers surrounded by Ross’ passionate reflections on life and articulation of his journey to be a billionaire. On one of the lead cuts, “So Sophisticated,” Ross hammers down heavy-handed statements with a delivery as graceful as Michael Jackson’s penny loafers lighting up the streets in “Billie Jean.” Meanwhile “Touch N You” features multi-time Grammy Award winner Usher and caters to the women who have crowned Ricky Rozay as one of the most yearned for sex symbols in all of entertainment.
“Three Kings” feels like Ross’ coronation into legend status as he is joined side by side by the man who has garnered the title of Greatest Rapper of All-Time, Jay-Z and the Greatest Producer of All-Time, Dr. Dre.
Like every up and coming MC, Ross — influenced by Golden Era b-boys that reigned supreme in the late 80s — just wanted to be heard during his introduction into hip-hop in the late 90s. While the desire and the artistry have been Ross hallmarks from career commencement, he had to learn the fine of art of structuring record contracts as well figure out a way to market and promote himself to the public when his former record labels couldn’t.
Ultimately, Rick Ross’ time didn’t come until over a decade after he started professionally. He only needed one song to break through. 2006’s “Hustlin” which went from being a relentless street anthem to a pop culture catch phrase still used today, earned Ross a record deal with Def Jam, and became the catalyst for his debut LP Port of Miami. That album debuted number one on the Billboard charts as did Trilla which came less than two years later.
And while his core fans already were familiar with the superlatives or Rick Ross the artist, in 2009, we got to know how strong of man the music Kingpin was. Highly publicized rap battles and controversy over his street cred that started at the end of 2008, none of it mattered by the spring of the next year when 2009’s Deeper Than Rap dropped. The few that ridiculed had no choice but to jump on the bandwagon, when Ross elevated himself with refined raps and musical soundscapes, all the while never worrying about public misperceptions about his past. While other albums may have sold slightly more, 2010’s Teflon Don overshadowed every LP from any genre that year. It was the album you heard coming out every car, the album that dominated DJ’s playlist and the album that catapulted Ross to international superstardom.
Building on the next level of his fame, Ross’ hunger wasn’t satiated. He knew it was his golden opportunity expand his Maybach Music Group. In late 2010 MMG went from boutique imprint to a full-fledged label, with the signings of Wale and Meek Mill as the cornerstones of the roster. Stalley and Omarion have since joined his core and have helped make MMG the most beloved brand since Jay-Z had Roc-A-Fella records 10 years ago. In early 2012, Ross released a free mixtape containing an album’s worth of new material called Rich Forever. The popularity from the body of work was so fervent, Ross toured in the U.S. and overseas in support of the new set of songs and Rich Forever has since went on to be the most downloaded mixtape ever. Now with God Forgives I Don’t, Ross has his sights set on a brand new goal: to be the biggest boss and artist of all-time.
“When my career is done, people will look back at everything I’ve contributed, and not just speak my name in high regard with the best of the best artists, but they’ll also compare my contributions with the greatest executives ever such as Russell Simmons, Lyor Cohen, Clive Davis and Jimmy Iovine.”