Jason Geter, Chaka Zulu and Bernard Parks Partner as Culture Republic

Diwang Valdez
Culture Republic 

Epic Records rapper Nick Grant is the collective’s first artist launch.

The emergence of Epic Records newcomer Nick Grant also signals the formal introduction of his partnership firm, Culture Republic. The South Carolina-bred rapper, whose label debut Return of the Cool recently bowed at No. 2 on Billboard’s Rap Albums chart, is backed by a trio of industry veterans and longtime friends: Jason Geter, Bernard Parks Jr. and Chaka Zulu.

Under the Culture Republic banner, the Atlanta-based trio is forging a new business model that connects the intersections between music, business and technology. Each executive is well-established in his own right. Geter founded Grand Hustle Entertainment with T.I., Zulu established Disturbing Tha Peace with Ludacris and Parks shaped the careers of Goodie Mob, Organized Noize and the Dungeon Family. Beyond management and label operation, the threesome’s various business ventures extend into touring, fashion, TV, film and headphones.

“We all clearly know the game,” says Geter. “But we wanted to come together and do something different that really fits today’s changing industry. There are no solid lines anymore between music, fashion, art and other forms of creativity. So we’re trying to create a hub where all these avenues can co-exist: Culture Republic is the tag for where creativity lives.”

“We don’t have to work together; we want to work together,” adds Zulu. “We can go fast alone or we can go further tougher. That’s the real mindset behind Culture Republic.”

In addition to housing label, management, film and television divisions, Culture Republic will launch a podcast later this month. Future plans include building a footprint in the technology space and segueing into sports management. Another key component: mentoring up-and-coming executive talent on the urban front.

“Developing executives as well as talent is what we all feel is missing right now,” says Parks. “The three of us have obviously had success, but we also had mentors who were around to help and teach us as we were coming up. That’s specifically missing on the urban side of the industry.”

Geter, Parks and Zulu -- who continue to maintain their individual business ventures -- rolled out their first joint project in 2014. The trio produced the VH1-aired documentary ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game.

But the focus right now is on Grant. He will co-headline a tour with Chicago rapper Joey Purp that kicks off March 7 in Philadelphia at The Foundry and wraps at San Francisco’s Brick & Mortar Music Hall on April 2. During that period, Grant will take time off to perform at the SXSW Festival between March 16-18. The Culture Republic/Epic rapper will next appear on May 6 at the Broccoli City Festival in Washington, D.C., whose lineup also features Solange Knowles, Rae Sremmurd, 21 Savage, Lil Yachty and Rapsody.


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