Steven “Steve-O” Carless, vp A&R of Def Jam Recordings and co-founder of Marathon Agency, caught up with Billboard’s Bianca Gracie at the Billboard and Vibe R&B Hip-Hop Power Players event on Thursday (Oct. 17), as they discussed keeping Nipsey Hussle’s legacy alive and why J. Cole and 21 Savage’s song “A Lot” resonates with him.
Asked who he considers to be the biggest musical power player, Carless names Nipsey Hussle. “His currency is inspiration,” Carless tells Billboard. “I think that’s what all of us intend to do with the recognition on a list like this, is hope that we inspire someone beyond ourselves.”
On the subject of Hussle, who posthumously received the Impact Award that evening, Carless is also asked how people can work to keep the late rapper’s legacy alive. “I’d say help somebody, teach somebody, mentor somebody, and be an example for your community and your friends and your peers and your colleagues,” replies Carless. “And try to lead things with integrity.”
In the interview, Carless is also posed with the question of which R&B or rap song of 2019 he would consider to be the biggest game-changer for the industry of the year. While he has a tough time picking just one, he ultimately names J. Cole and 21 Savage’s “A Lot.”
“I feel like that record really spoke to a lot of the innuendos of things that people don’t wanna say,” he explains. “They were brave enough to say them, and I think the musicality of the record really speaks true to true artistry.”
You can check out the full video interview with Steve Carless above.