Mike Boyd has had an ear for talent in the hip-hop world for over a decade. From St. Louis to Atlanta to New York City, Mike has managed artists like Rome Fortune and Richie Souf, and is currently the Head of Music Partnerships & Artist Relations for Gary Vaynerchuk.
Mike was able to take a quick break from picking out the next big thing in music to meet up for a beer and an interview at Departed Soles Brewing in Jersey City, NJ. In this episode, Mike takes us through some wild stories of his time working in the music industry, what he looks for in the people and artists that he works with, and how the worlds of entrepreneurship, social media, and hip-hop have converged in his career.
And yes, we talk about what it’s like to work closely with Gary Vaynerchuk. We discuss the ’Monday to Monday’ playlist that Mike and Gary co-curate on a weekly basis, and how hip-hop plays into Gary’s personality and strategy.
Departed Soles Brewing Company – Jersey City, NJ
I didn’t realize this until after the fact, but Departed Soles specializes in gluten-free beer! Wow! And their beer is amazing. While it should be more well-known by now that gluten-removed beer can be excellent, this is not necessarily common knowledge yet. You can walk into Departed Soles expecting excellent beer, and that’s what you’ll get…that and flights served on skateboards, which is pretty cool.
- We start off discussing how Mike originally got into hip-hop, and St. Louis radio’s willingness to feature local and regional artists
- After college, Mike first managed Rome Fortune, and he shares a story about the pitfalls of managing an artist without a booking agent
- Mike shares what he’s focused on currently with Atlanta-based producer Richie Souf, and what characteristics Mike looks for in in the artists he manages and places his bets on
- “If a humble person is working hard, I think they’re going to continue working hard longer than someone who doesn’t have humility.” –Mike Boyd
- When it comes to Mike’s work with Gary Vaynerchuck, they are both focused on growing the “Monday to Monday” playlist right now, a 15-song predominantly hip-hop playlist that gets updated every Monday
- We kick off Round 2 by quickly reminiscing about high school…
- Advice from Gary Vaynerchuk: Always be the bigger person.
- How to deal with the egos in the music business
- We’ve got another hip hop story in lieu of a drinking story, this time, featuring Young Thug
- “Hustle Culture”…the pros and cons…
- Atlanta is one of Mike’s favorite cities, and we get into why it’s such a rich environment for hip hop music
- Mike gives us the inside scoop of the realities of working with GaryVee
Drinks of the Show:
- Deuces – An East Coast Double IPA with mango and grapefruit flavors
- Cantankerous Blonde – Designed to be a semi-sweet tailgate beer with a bready finish
- Philoso-Rapper – A Belgian Tripel that Chris can’t remember to say correctly…
- Playoff Beered – Traditional Pale Ale with Crystal Rye
- GoodbIPA – A sessionable American style IPA that’s 100% gluten-free (and delicious!)
Mike’s Favorite Food Spots in Jersey City:
- Razza – “The best pizza in New York is in Jersey City”…or something like that –Pete Wells, New York Times
- Taqueria – There are a few of these in Jersey City…Tweet at Mike Boyd to figure out which one he was talking about.
Resources for When You’re Sober:
Monday to Monday Playlist – Curated on a weekly basis by Mike Boyd and Gary Vaynerchuk, this 15-song playlist is Gary and Mike’s way of paying-it-forward to up-and-coming artist, while paying homage to the hip-hop legends they grew up loving. You can find it on Spotify or Apple Music.
Connect/Drink with Mike Boyd:
Hit him up via Instagram direct message at mikeboydjr.
Visit Departed Soles Brewing:
Departed Soles Brewing Company is located at 150 Bay St #2a, Jersey City, NJ 07302. Taproom hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays 5pm to 9pm, Fridays 4pm to 10pm, Saturdays 2pm to 10pm, and Sundays 1pm to 7pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).