Last weekend, 300 Entertainment CEO Kevin Liles and 1/ST Encounter partnered to set collectively the first once-a-year Preakness Are living Culinary, Art & Audio Competition. The immersive two-day Baltimore-dependent celebration highlighted some of the nation’s prime cooks, musicians, and artists all through Preakness 147.
Preakness is a person of 3 horse racing competitions held at the Triple Crown at Pimlico Race Study course in Attraction City. There were in excess of 60,000 friends throughout the two-day celebration. Preakness LIVE’s line-up boasted a bevy of gifted artists from each style. The thrilling celebration of culture was headlined by 2022 Billboard Music Awards top rap female artist winner Megan Thee Stallion, Moneybagg Yo, Marshmello, D-Good, the legendary Lauryn Hill, and a lot more. What’s more, admirers were being also dealt with to an outstanding general performance by Morgan State University’s Marching Band.
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When rising up in Baltimore, Liles even put in time at Morgan Point out College ahead of dropping out to go after music. Hence, curating this working experience in his hometown was really essential for the longtime music govt, specially following possessing MSU be the first HBCU invited to carry out at a Triple Crown celebration.
“To have just one of the Super Bowls of horse racing in Baltimore commit in the city, bring the city’s soul out, is a blessing, man I am so satisfied,” exclaimed Liles.
And inspite of not too long ago dropping a person of the label’s increasing stars in Lil Keed — who handed previously this thirty day period — and the latest arrests of Young Thug and Gunna, Liles saved his head high about 300’s potential in the course of the celebration.
“Artists are human beings, much too, and my objective is to humanize the company,” he mentioned. “So when I speak about them and their projects, I want to rejoice and uplift them as human beings. I am going as a result of with the passing of Keed, and with Thug and Gunna locked up, it is a great deal of do the job to do. So in the words and phrases of the fantastic Kobe Bryant, ‘Job not finished!’”
Below, Billboard chatted with Kevin Liles to go over his involvement with the to start with once-a-year Preakness Stay, his enjoyment bordering Megan Thee Stallion’s forthcoming album, and her progress as an artist.
Several persons do not know that you went to Morgan Point out College on a scholarship from NASA. What pushed you to make that bounce into the songs organization?
I consider early in substantial university, when I listened to Operate DMC’s “Sucker M.C’s,” I misplaced my intellect. I didn’t know what it was, but a thing created me want to participate. I grew to become an artist, a person stole my music, and I sold 100,000 copies, and they offered 18 million copies. So I experienced to sue them it was a group called Milli Vanilli. I was dealing with that at 17 yrs old. From then on, I understood I didn’t want to be in the songs company, but the business enterprise of new music. If I concentrated on that, there was no way I would not learn from the very best — so I interned at Def Jam. I did not make any dollars for the first two yrs, and then they employed me, and then six yrs later on, I became the President/CEO. It is all about that Baltimore hustle, you know?
With Meg Thee Stallion’s increase to prominence, how much does it signify to you to look at her star increase?
I was there from working day a person with Meg. Her mom seemed at me when we signed the contract and requested if I would take treatment of her toddler. Meg is like a daughter to me. To see your daughter do perfectly usually means a ton. I just flew in from North Carolina my daughter Kayla just graduated. So to see my other daughter undertaking nicely, and how she embraces culture, schooling, and the electric power of becoming a girl is extraordinary. Meg Thee Stallion is a superhero, and she genuinely stands for women’s rights. Her hotties are from all in excess of the planet, and they come in all styles and sizes.
You brought Morgan Condition University’s marching band to complete below at Preakness 147. Why was it so significant to you to spotlight young black expertise in your hometown?
This is the initially time an HBCU has done at a Triple Crown. Then it being Morgan State? It just felt correct. I was with Dr. Wilson [Morgan State’s band director], and we reviewed how MSU provides additional African-American engineers than any other institution. I experienced to make it take place.
Just visualize the expertise that these children and their mom and dad will have mainly because of this effectiveness. God is superior, man it is a blessing. I appreciate Morgan State.
Your track report as a philanthropist is nicely-documented. Is there everything you have in the works appropriate now that you would like to highlight?
One particular of the biggest matters I emphasis on is schooling. The war on lyrics and also mass incarceration is sizeable to me. There is a problem with our program. I sit on boards and test to do what I can to combat for these concerns. You simply cannot have achievement with no duty. Therefore, I ought to do what I can to help. I have a great deal of work to do.
300 Amusement is a person of the most important powerhouses right now. Is there something coming up soon that you can allude to permit folks know?
Properly, we got a Meg Thee Stallion album coming. We just merged with Elektra Records, so I oversee both labels, and we have a Twenty Just one Pilots album that just dropped. I have a team from Baltimore called Turnstile that is so dope, and I am so psyched about it. There is an album coming in June that I cannot notify you about just however, but it is coming. There are a couple of other new artists that I have signed that we are thrilled about — so it is so a lot heading on.