Photos by ellmatik for A3C Media Services
Two years ago Anthony Saleh became Future’s manager. Future’s career wasn’t necessarily going the way he would like with his 2014 album Honest not doing the numbers he expected. Saleh says he was actually on his way out of the music business and on to other ventures before meeting the Atlanta rapper. But since teaming up, Future has seen his stock rise at meteoric rate. Saleh was on hand at A3C this year to share some of the details of how he helped manage Future’s ascent into beast mode.
“The thing that I thought that made us click most was, I taught him how to think,” Saleh said in front of packed crowd in the Loudermilk Ballroom. I taught him how to approach things. I taught him how to get what you want even though the odds are against you.”
Hip-hop can be a very fickle beast. One high budget album that flops can ruin a whole career. As Future’s buzz seemed to be fizzling out in 2014, support from the record label began to taper off as well. Saleh and Future refused to be deterred by a lack of label investment and began making a new plan to market new mixtapes and singles, starting with Monster and “Commas”. One integral part of that was Future investing his own money into the music.
“To Future’s credit, he put his money where his mouth is. He paid for all of the videos. He played for all of the graphics. He paid to take “Commas” to radio. This was a true do-it-yourself approach for us.”
Future’s mother and financial advisor Stephanie “Ms. J” Jester also joined the conversation and echoed Saleh’s point.
“I believe in investing in yourself and investing in your craft,”she said. “And if you are really serious about doing business, that’s what you need to do. You need to invest back into yourself. You need to treat it like a business it will grow the way you expect it to go. You can just look at it like ‘hey, I’m an artist.”