In early 2012, Cortez Bryant’s Bryant Management and Kyambo “Hip Hop” Joshua and Gee Roberson’s Hip Hop Since 1978 joined forces as the Blueprint Group, bringing superstars like Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake and T.I. under the same management umbrella. Bryant and Roberson, who serve as Blueprint’s co-CEOs (Joshua is president and head of artist development) have already inked several high-profile deals, including a partnership between Lil Wayne and Mountain Dew (valued in the multimillions) and a global Pepsi campaign for Minaj reported to be in the seven figures.
“International is one of the biggest things on our radar because our artists are not only national — they’re global, so their music is touching all parts of the world,” says Bryant, who’s also chief visionary officer of Lil Wayne’s Cash Money imprint, Young Money Entertainment. (In addition to his Blueprint role, Roberson is chairman of Geffen Records.) Through 2012, Blueprint intends to set up TV and film opportunities for the company’s clientele, with plans for Drake, Minaj and T.I. to entertain big-screen roles, as well as launch a clothing line for Minaj by year’s end. “We’re not satisfied with what we have,” Bryant says. “It’s probably bigger than what most people are doing out here in hip-hop, but there are plenty more opportunities out there for our artists.” – Steven J. Horowitz