Errol
Highlighting Key People in Hip-Hop

Hard work pays off is a saying that Errol “EZ” Vaughn Jr. heard all throughout his childhood. He realized it’s true meaning in 2000 when he left his home in Orlando, Florida to make it in the music business in New York City. It wasn’t long before he landed his first internship at Unique Studios in Manhattan. In 2001, he started interning at The Inc Records, formally known as Murder Inc. and quickly moved up the ladder. As an A&R, he worked on several albums including Ja Rule’s Pain Is Love and Ashanti’s Chapter 2—just to name a few. Now EZ consults artists under his company EZDoesIt Inc. He also co-manages French Montana alongside Gaby Acevedo of SRC Records. After building together for 10 years, French Montana’s deal with Bad Boy Records is proof of how far hard work can take you. Here EZ provides the details of his come up and gives some amazing advice to those following on his path. Take notes.


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What would you attribute to your come up at Murder Inc.?
When I first started, I asked a lot of questions and anyone who said they would help, I held them to that promise. I stayed persistent with the engineer who gave me the opportunity. When I finally got there and realized being in the studio wasn’t quite my thing, I spoke up. I expressed my desire to be in an office doing more A&R work and being hands-on. That’s how I went from an intern to a paid position as Chris Gotti’s assistant. Irv Gotti started seeing me around and saw that I was giving my input on a lot of things and he took me on as an A&R. I’ve been doing this type of work since then.

Why did you decided to pursue management?
I think management goes hand in hand with A&Ring. At that time, I wanted to be hands-on. I didn’t want to find an artist, throw them to the wolves and never worry about them after that. Management was always my goal. When I first started out with Murder Inc. my plan was to learn the in and outs of the business and then bring my artists to the table like all of the top black executives did. They brought their artists to the table and blossomed from there. I wanted to be just as good as Irv Gotti, Diddy or even like producer Trackmaster. They were all hands on with artists on a day-to-day basis.

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How long have you been working with French Montana?
We’ve known each other for over ten years. The two of us were friends before we started working together. The fact that he’s signed now and is getting his just due is an amazing feeling. We’re not even close to where we actually want to be but it just goes to show that hard work pays off. We feel blessed to have come this far because this game is so polluted with so many artists and so many different styles of music so to even get heard is hard these days. We hope to be a blueprint and platform to new artists. Maybe they can trampoline off of our success.

When it comes to getting an artists signed to these key labels, how do people make this happen?
You have to know how to build relationships and have an artist that can do the same. That’s the main key. This whole business is based off of relationships. Timing matters also. It helps that French has been in the industry for a while now. People are familiar with his work. He built relationships with Rick Ross and Diddy and now he’s signed to Bad Boy Records.

As a music consultant, what advice can you give artists?
Create a buzz and these labels will come find you. With technology, you can become your own executive. You have the convenience of doing everything yourself until someone gives you a hand. Once your buzz grows, everybody will want a piece of you.

For other managers on the come-up, what tips can you give to them?
First thing is to read a lot and know what it is that you want to do. Know the path of management so when you do find an artist that you truly believe in, you already know what you need to do. The only way you can work with an artist is if that artist is all you can think about. Not, he made one cool song. You really have to believe and know that they can be the next icon or star. Also realize that every person you managing isn’t the same. I also manage producer Arizona Slim Beats. The producer game is different because he has to have sound that artist will take to. The chemistry has to be there for the placement to happen. All in all, just have fun with it. It’s not really that hard. I’m still learning. You learn as you go along.

What’s next on your agenda?
French is still my main focus. We’re focused on the album and the tour that starts in about two to three weeks. We want Excuse My French to make great first week sales. I hope it excels. That’s going to set us apart from where we stand in this business. Right now, I’m establishing myself in the business. Whatever artists I take on are who I believe in, the next step is getting on.

Follow EZ on Twitter at @ezdoesitinc
-Danitha Jones (@LifeLikeJones)

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