Derrick McKinney Keeps the Houston Hip-Hop Scene Relevant Through his Continued Hustle

5 min read
Derrick McKinney Keeps the Houston Hip-Hop Scene Relevant Through his Continued Hustle

Derrick McKinney Keeps the Houston Hip-Hop Scene Relevant Through his Continued Hustle

Derrick McKinney has been part of the Hip-Hop culture and a mainstay of the Houston music scene for many years as he built his entrepreneurial empire through his L.O.U.D. Muzik recording label. As he got his start working for a burgeoning clothing label, FUBU, he built upon his marketing success to start the company that he still runs today. With the likes of artists such as Houston legends Lil Flip, Z-Ro and recently signing former Disturbing Tha Peace artist, Bobby V, McKinney is still utilizing his expertise to stay a force within the Houston scene and beyond.

The Business of Hip Hop recently spoke to McKinney to see what he has been up to recently. The Houston native discusses how he’s been able to stay current in the game, his future plans, and his thoughts on the metaverse, NFTS, and cryptocurrency.

You’ve recently completed your second press junket/meet and greet in Houston, Texas where you had aspiring artists meet with journalists, radio stations and other media outlets. What factored into your decision to do these events and how successful were they based on your expectations? And what do you have planned for the future?

I noticed our label needed more PR & media coverage, and I started to reach out to different people in those fields that I already had a relationship with. As the numbers started to grow and I saw the people who would come out for my label meet & greet, I realized more artists need this kind of access, so I turned it into an event.

Also, I know that Houston has some amazing talent that just needs to be seen, and exposed to more than what we’ve been shown the past few years. I knew the event would provide a lot of resources to a lot of talented people. In the future, we will be taking the event to Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Diego, and the DMV area.

You’ve been involved in the music industry for many years working in marketing, music, and retail. What led you to want to work in this industry and how has your experience helped you launch a successful label, L.O.U.D Muzik, and still be able to function within the industry, especially in these changing times?

I’ve always been the guy who was able to talk to people and influence others to come out to parties and wear certain clothes or hang out at certain spots. So when I got introduced to the music industry it came very naturally to me. Getting into the business at an early age allowed me to learn from some legends, but keep my youth and energy to be the best. I give credit to my time working with FUBU for showing me how to be a forward thinker, understand the culture, give people what they want, and remain humble.

As times have changed it’s been an easy transition for me. I embrace the next & whatever is new.

What advice would you give anyone who has a passion that they’d like to explore and make it a career?

Don’t ever give up on yourself!!! You will have some horrible days & starving nights chasing your dream. That is perfectly normal, and you will get through it. Learn from those times and keep pushing. I’ve had repossessions, evictions, lights turned out, and negative bank accounts, and I never once felt like I needed to quit. The adversity only made me step up, and go even harder so I would never have to deal with any of those things again.

What are your thoughts when it comes to the metaverse, NFTs, cryptocurrency and anything dealing with cyberspace as it relates to the music and/or entertainment industry? Will it be as effective as some feel it will be? Do you feel that these items and the like will replace what is relied on now, such as traditional radio, streaming, etc.?

I think NFTs, the Metaverse, and all these new things are killing urban music. I don’t see any other genres jumping out the window to release their album as an NFT. The labels are releasing collectors editions of rock n roll Vinyl sets, but for some reason, rappers have to sell NFTs? Every new technology that’s not owned by us, is pushed on us to make it cool, and we always get left behind in the payouts. We already get the smallest budgets in music and get paid the least for the highest streaming and selling genre. We don’t own the Metaverse or the major companies back NFTs or Crypto coins. Why are we always the target? I think it’s going to crash & burn.

Since your start in this game, you’ve been able to stay current when it comes to trends and changing times. What should we expect to see and/or hear from Derrick McKinney and L.O.U.D. Muzik?

My goal is to be the next Berry Gordy, L.A. Reid, Russell Simmons, or Clarence Avant but in 2022 & beyond. I’m going to bring back love & happiness in our music and put R&B/Soul music back at the top of the charts. I’m going to make hip-hop fun again with amazing party records, and anthems we can listen to years from now.

I’m going to grow our festivals & press junkets, and continue to put Hip-hop, R&B, & Soul back in the hands of the originators, and keep the culture moving forward. But I’m going to do it my way & under my terms! I know the world & especially our people need love, positivity, and hope right now, and I believe music is the one thing that can give us everything our hearts desire.

Derrick McKinney Keeps the Houston Hip-Hop Scene Relevant Through his Continued Hustle

Leave a Reply