Looking for the top hip hop managers in the game? Our article explores the behind-the-scenes masterminds who have guided some of the biggest names in rap to success. Discover the key qualities that make a great hip hop manager, and learn about the strategies and tactics these industry insiders use to build careers and navigate the ups and downs of the music business. Whether you're an aspiring artist or just a fan of the genre, this list is for you. In no particular order, here's our list of the 21 hip hop managers you need to know about.
22 Hip Hop Managers You Need to Know About
22. Rubi Rosa
Client(s): Bizzy Banks, Leeky G Bando, Carlos Trvp, Kha Structure, Gabo Alonzo, Lil Perco, Lyrical Bomb, Breezy Banks
To kick off our list, let's start with Rubi Rosa. This manager is also a noteworthy producer, and has come a long way in his music career. He's helped to continue building Bizzy Banks' growth substantially alongside his co-manager Luva. Additionally, he's continued to build out a management roster of international clients who are running up streams in all types of markets around the world: Latin, African, American, he's got it all.
21. Lil Nextel
Yeat has had an enormous come-up in recent years, and it seems safe to say he wouldn't be in the same position if it weren't for his manager, Lil Nextel. Even Yeat's cult-like fanbase knows it's true, and thus Nextel has become somewhat of a celebrity in the underground as a result. Without a doubt, Nextel is one of the best hip hop managers in the game. He's made digital marketing look like a piece of cake, though it's far from it.
20. Coach Tek
Client(s): 2 Chainz, Key Glock, JoeLew
As 2 Chainz' manager, Coach Tek has helped the Atlanta star go the distance, from record sales to his trademark 'Most Expensivest Shit' show. Tek has shown just how scalable talent can be in the hip-hop space, and has done so gracefully. Additionally, he's continued to make management look easy with his portfolio of work alongside his client Key Glock. As he's finishing a major tour, it's safe to say it's only up for Key Glock as well.
19. Geoff Ogunlesi
Client(s): Young Thug
Geoff is another example of a manager who knows how to go the distance with his clients. Young Thug has come a very long way in his career, and Geoff Ogunlesi has played a crucial role in that.
18. Chad Kemp
Client(s): Conway the Machine, Jae Skeese
Chad Kemp is next up on our list, who manages Conway the Machine and is in charge of the operations for his label, Drumwork Music Group. Chad has a breadth of experience in management, working with acts like Benny the Butcher and Armani Caesar in the past as well.
17. Millz Lucas
Client(s): Jay Critch, Slayter
Millz Lucas is another manager who's made quite an impact on his clients' careers. Between Jay Critch and Slayter, Millz' resume speaks for itself. He's built TME into something very special (to say the least), and he's just getting started.
16. Erin Larsen
Client(s): Playboi Carti
Erin Larsen is a noteworthy candidate on our list of the best hip hop managers, and for good reason. She's helped Carti take his career to new levels, and he's been quick to credit her for the major role she plays in his success.
Client(s): Benji Blue Bills, Boog 100, Mayday
AR is a unique addition to our list of best hip hop managers, as he's not only just a manager - he's a multi-platinum producer as well. His management clients include Benji Blue Bills, Boog 100, and Mayday - all of whom should have your full attention at this point in time. Did we mention he started his own cannabis store in Astoria? Whether you're a music or weed connoisseur, you've gotta get hip to AR.
14. William Foster
Client(s): Cash Cobain, Lunchbox
William Foster is a manager who's helped develop Lucki into the superstar he is today. That's no easy task, yet William has made it look easy over the years. Did we mention he curates 'The New East Coast' playlist on Apple Music? This is just scratching the surface of his administrative prowess in the music game. Now, he manages Cash Cobain and Lunchbox, two artists entering their prime - and it's no coincidence at all. Notice a trend here with William Foster's clients?
13. Jake Markow
Client(s): $not and Eem Triplin
Jake Markow is yet another manager on our list who makes artist development look easy, though it's far from it. He's taken $not and Eem Triplin to crazy heights, and something tells us they're all just getting started.
12. Chidiebere Udogwu
Client(s): Highway, 18veno
Chidiebere Udogwu is a name you should remember on this list. He's played a crucial role in the careers of 18veno and Highway, and has built up a brand of his own that separates him from the pack. He's a natural creative, and seamlessly applies that expertise to his role as an artist manager.
11. Joey Walker
In his time as the head of Daily Chiefers and as an A&R at Alamo Records, Joey Walker has a deeper familiarity with the underground music scene than anybody you'll ever meet. He's applied this knowledge to his management approach, and it shows. He's currently managing wolffacejoeyy (who has been making some serious waves lately), and has previously managed ABG Neal.
10. Barry Hefner
Client(s): Earthgang, JID
Barry Hefner is a name you should remember from this list. He's a standout as far as development goes, and that is still such an understatement. Working with acts like Earthgang and JID (and more), he's built up a firm understanding of artist development, and has been eager to share that understanding with the world of up-and-comers.
9. Dave Free
Client(s): Kendrick Lamar
Dave Free makes management look like an art, and that's really saying something. Somehow, he's made administrative duties seem so much cooler in his experience as Kendrick Lamar's manager. He's helped Kendrick build an empire - one that is continuously growing.
8. Ibrahim Hamad
Client(s): J. Cole
Not many managers in the game can say they manage a more prolific client than J. Cole. The man behind the superstar's notable growth is none other than Ibrahim Hamad. Ibrahim has played a crucial role in the evolution of J. Cole, and continues to help the artist shine in his trademark fashion.
7. Jentry Salvatore
Client(s): G Perico
Jentry Salvatore is someone who should serve as a blueprint to any up-and-coming managers in the game. He's helped to carry G Perico through a noteworthy evolution, and in return has gotten plenty of lyrical shoutouts from G Perico (and even DJ Drama - on G's latest project). G isn't shy to tell the world just how influential Jentry has been in his success story, and he's lucky to have him on his team.
6. Steven Victor
Client(s): Pusha T, Ski Mask the Slump God, Pop Smoke
Steven Victor has become a legend in the management sphere of music, and for good reason. By helping to grow the careers of Pusha T, Ski Mask the Slump God, and Pop Smoke (and more), he's proven time and again just how capable he is. Additionally, his brand Victor Victor has been making waves over the past few years, to say the least.
5. Oliver El-Khatib
It seems safe to say that Drake is the most prolific hip hop artist of our generation, and his story wouldn't be the same had it not been for his close friend and manager Oliver El-Khatib. Oliver has helped Drake build his business to the highest scale, and has somehow found ways to continue pushing forward.
4. Tony Sal and Amir Esmailian
Client(s): The Weeknd, Belly, NAV
The XO crew has become one of the most esteemed groups of managers in the game, and it's not for no reason. Between their clients The Weeknd, Belly, and NAV, they've kept themselves busy over the years by helping these stars shine even brighter.
3. Justin "Meezy" Williams
Client(s): 21 Savage
21 Savage is another prominent artist who is unrivaled by most of his peers in the music space. Justin "Meezy" Williams has played a major role in the development of 21, and has helped the ATL rapper go the distance in his career.
2. Kevin "Coach K" Lee and Pierre "Pee" Thomas
Client(s): Quality Control
If there were textbooks for management, Coach K and Pee could write it themselves. Their experience as managers has resulted in some of the most renowned musical celebrities of the past decade, including the Migos, Cardi B, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby, City Girls, Duke Deuce, and more. On top of that, they just sold their company Quality Control (QC) to South Korean music company Hybe for $300M. Talk about development - these two make it look like a walk in the park.
1. Ebonie Ward
Aspiring artist managers, take note—if you want to boss up in the music industry, look no further than Ebonie Ward. With an impressive track record, Ebonie has proven time and time again why she is a powerhouse in today’s entertainment business. She has helped catapult the careers of several names you may have heard of. Through hard work, determination and passion for what she does, Ebonie went from assisting Future to managing his empire. She has also helped guide the careers of Gunna, Flo Milli and others. Last year, she was coined Manager of the Year by Variety Magazine and has also received praise from XXL Magazine and Billboard Magazine. She recently founded 11th & Co., the Black-owned and women-led music management firm. Ward has come a long way, yet seems like she’s just getting started, showing that the music business is far from a man's game.
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