My Rhythm and My Blues: Arnold Taylor of South Coast Music Group

Arnold Taylor of South Coast Music Group is an entrepreneur that put Charlotte, North Carolina on the map. From passionate record store clerk to power player looking out for the next big rapper in the Carolinas, hear his origin story, dive into the SCMG roster and be inspired by his future goals of inspiring upcoming artists in the latest episode of My Rhythm and My Blues. Take a look:
My Rhythm and My Blues: South Coast Music Group

Intro:

I come from Barry Hankerson, who's Aaliyah's uncle. I come from working with L.A. Reid and Sylvia Rhone, Jack Gordon, who had the only mom-and-pop black record store downtown Charlotte and it was all white and he killed it. Black music means everything to me. To me I think that it's important that Black music is celebrated and acknowledged because I feel like people love our culture but they don't love us. You know what I mean? And you can't make money off of my culture without loving Black people. It just don't work that way.

Putting Charlotte on the map:

I've always wanted to sign artists and have my own label and when I was getting into the business, it was all about New York and LA. Charlotte wasn't on the map. So, for me, what always gave me that whole underdog feel that I had to work harder than somebody that was from a major market. I had to be kind of like a big fish in a small pond and make them believe that I can do it.
The culture of Charlotte is very segregated. It's just not a Black city. There is really no culture as far as music. It's more of a banking town. It's a great city to live in, to raise a family in and that type of thing. The culture is beginning now because we're creating the culture. People are coming into the city, they're coming from a bigger city and it is making it more of a real melting pot. And I love it.
I love the energy because it's given me a chance to make people from Charlotte feel like they're proud. Like we from here, bro, this is our city. I see other artists working harder, they realize like, wow, we from where DaBaby is from and this is home of SCMG. So, we can't come out mediocre now, the stakes is high now, you know what I mean?

Before founding SCMG:

My last job was Epic. I was there for six years because I was breaking artists from all around the country. And I was like, man, I'm not breaking nobody from my city. And that started to bother me as I got older. And I was like, wow, I can just keep doing this or I can like go really challenge myself and I'm always going to challenge myself.

Meeting Da Baby:

I left Epic after I met Baby. I was like, wow, that's the kid. When I met him and I finally got in front of him, you know, his music wasn't where it's at right now. But I wasn't worried about the music, I didn't need talent alone, I needed the right artists that help me take my brand to that level. Otherwise it was never going to work. I just needed his mind and I knew he was an artist that can really be my franchise player for the label.

The SCMG roster:

Breaking artists in different buildings is very important to me. And I have Toosii. Toosii is a different type of artist. Whoo, he's big. From New York here, born in Syracuse, raised in Raleigh and rapped with the best of them. Tia Corine, she's the trendy more urban Doja Cat. And I have Blacc Zacc with my Trapper. Zacc is my street cat. He's the Jeezy, the Yo Gotti, all in one. I've got Big Mali. Big Mali is signed strictly to South Coast Music Group. Mali is just raw special. Ain't nobody rapping like she is rapping.

The power of a Black man and a Black company:

We support everything Black, you know what I mean? And we're aware that we have to, you know, be in the same rooms. And I tell all my label partners, I want to be in the same room. If my deal ain't fair as the next person to deal or somebody who's on the white artist's deal then it's not a game I'm playing right now. I got here following the culture of what I am and believing in what I am and I spending my own money. I didn't get here to sign a deal to spend your money. I wouldn't even take the artist into a building unless I fully have tested out and believe in it. So, to me, that's the power of a Black man and a Black company, it's not just signing you and going to get the check and walking away. I'm doing the same thing you're doing, I'm taking all the risks. You know what I mean? So, you gotta respect me a different way because if my kids ain't going to the same school your kid is going to, then what are we talking about? I want the same thing you want whether I'm in the hood or whether I'm in Bel Air, I wanted the same thing you want. Some of my brothers sometimes they don't show it, we want the same thing the white person wants. I don't really get racism, I don't see no color until it's in front of me, but I don't go around like ah I'm Black and everybody's racist. I don't play that game, you know what I mean? But I know it exists. I just don't see it because I stay focused on what I'm doing and I don't let it hinder me. You know, you get to thinkin' that you gotta be something else to be successful as a Black man or black woman and minorities are winning now because everybody has made money off of our culture. Even more than us. How the hell did that happen?

Looking ahead:

To me the sky is the limit, we ain't stoppin, you know what I mean? Brand deals, the merge deals just from a South Coast Music Group brand and then every artist having their own label, I welcome that. I'm not a person that has to have all the shine and the brand. I want you to have your own as well.
You know, that's how you build Black power and Black wealth. Don't just start a label, you know, start a movement. Don't be afraid to step out there and trend set, you know, be a trendsetter and do something nobody's never done before.
Follow Arnold Taylor on Instagram
Read about SCMG in Forbes

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Last updated: 16 Jan 2021, 11:50 Etc/UTC