SXSW Profile: Cool Nutz (FE Presents: Industry Survival Skills Panelist)

March 07, 2011 3 min read

If you are going to SXSW, RSVP To the "INDUSTRY SURVIVAL SKILLS 2001 PANEL" NOW!

Cool Nutz is a renaissance man in Hip Hop. He's an artist manager, artist, label owner, radio show host, event promoter, and so on. Over the last 20 years or so he's been involved in assisting a lot of key artists in their careers, including his own.

I asked him to be a part of our "Industry Survival Skills 2011 Panel" specifically due to his experience in artist management. That is a question I still get a lot from upcoming artists. Either they want me to manage them, want to know if I know any good managers or just wondering if they should get a manager. It's a very good question and one not easily answered sometimes. I'm looking forward to his perspective on artist management in the current industry.

In the meantime, I asked him to answer a few questions to give you some background on his history and experience in Hip Hop, as well as artist management:

Fifth Element: Earliest Hip Hop Memory?

Cool Nutz: My earliest hip-hop memory is walking from vacation bible school and hearing a song blaring from a boombox in a window, and hearing the first really hard hip-hop song that I had ever heard, which was Run DMC "Rock Box". That song changed my life and my perspective on hip-hop music and culture.

Fifth Element: You've been involved in many aspects of the bizness, can you
give a quick breakdown of your various enterprises?

Cool Nutz: I own and operate my own record label, Jus Family Records, which was founded in 1992 by myself and Producer, Bosko (Big Boi, E-40, Kanye West, and More). We helped pave the way for independent music in the Northwest and running true independent labels in the region. I also operate Executive Branch Management which is responsible for overseeing the careers of Bosko, Illmaculate, Cool Nutz, and More. I also consult a number of artists and labels on the side as well. I also host, program, and created my radio show, "The Northwest Breakout" show which airs every Sunday on Clearchannel radio's Wild 107.5 here in Portland, OR. Creator and operator of The POH-Hop (Portland Oregon Hip-Hop Festival) which is 12 years running and has featured artists E-40, Freeway, Zion I, Ras Kass, The Liks, Blackalicious, Mac Dre, Spearhead, The Luniz, Large Professor, and More.

Fifth Element: What inspired you to get involved in the artist management side of the biz?

Cool Nutz: It was a natural addition to what I was already doing. I was in a position to give back, as well as sharing my network, relationships, and business resources that I had built over the years. it feels good to be able to watch artists progress in their careers, and be able to see your experience play a role in that.

Fifth Element: Who are some of the key artists you've managed over the years, including currently?

Cool Nutz: Bosko (Producer), Boom Bap Project, Illmaculate (World Rap Champ/Scribble Jam), DJ Chill (Tech N9ne's DJ), E-40 (Tour Management/Booking).

Fifth Element: What's the biggest challenge for a artist manager in todays market?

Cool Nutz: Finding new ways to make up for the lack of record sales, dealing with today's digital era, and finding ways to keep your artists unique to open new streams of opportunity/income with the over saturation of artists competing for these same opportunities.

You can find out more info about the man himself at:

Cool Nutz also just dropped a brand new music video, "The Greatest", which is taken from his upcoming album "COOL NUTZ ='s DOPE" which will hit retailers on Tuesday May 10th:


Fifth Element has assembled a panel of key artists and professionals in the business to discuss the best ways artists can be self-sufficient and successful in this changing industry!!

We will discuss everything from Social Media, Touring/Booking, Radio, Management, State Of Record Labels, Best Ways To Invest Money, and more!!

MODERATOR: Kevin Beacham

Shad (Decon)
Blueprint (Rhymesayers)
Sage Francis (Strange Famous)
Zach Quillen (The Agency Group)
Jessica Weber (Co-Sign)
John Shaw (Select O Hits)
Cool Nutz (Executive Branch Management)

Stay tuned over the next two weeks for more information on our panelists!!

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