After years of building their management companies separately, Gee Roberson, 38, and Cortez Bryant, 33, knew it was time to join forces. Earlier this year, Roberson and Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua merged their Hip Hop Since 1978 with Bryant Management, forming a brand development and artist management powerhouse overseeing Lil Wayne, T.I., Nicki Minaj and Drake.
Roberson, who assumed the role of Geffen Records chairman last year, has worked with Cortez since the mid-'00s, valuing his diligence and dedication to artists. "It's such a priceless thing where the stars align and you can find like minds that actually do business in the same way," says Roberson, who got his start as an intern for Jay-Z's Roc-a-Fella Records in the '90s.
Bryant, who also serves as chief visionary officer of Wayne's Young Money Entertainment, worked with Roberson to ink a reported seven-figure deal between Minaj and Pepsi and a multimillion-dollar partnership between Lil Wayne and Mountain Dew. With plans to launch several TV series, a Beats by Dr. Dre deal with Wayne and a perfume line for Minaj later this year, Blueprint is thinking big. "My goal as a manager is to take [artists] outside of a music space and help them become entrepreneurs," Bryant says. "Instead of being a boutique company, we're taking our partnership and developing an entertainment management powerhouse."