Ruff Ryders Entertainment has been a staple in Hip-Hop culture but the company known for introducing us to acts such as DMX, The Lox and Eve, disbanded in 2010. But in that same year founders Waah and Dee decided to reintroduce the brand with a new business model by launching Ruff Ryders Indy. While music is what brought Ruff Ryders to the forefront, its much more than a record label.
TheSource.com sits and talks with model/actor, Tariq Alexander, the man appointed to run Ruff Ryders Films.
Are you Ruff Ryder motorcycle club member? If so, can you tell us about the culture?
Tariq Alexander: Yes I am. There’s a misconception that Ruff Ryders is just a music label, but we’re so much more. Aside from our other brands, Ruff Ryders is an organization, a family. Once you’re allowed to put on that vest, there’s a certain of excellence that is expected from you. And while the Ruff Ryders is the largest urban movement on the planet, our brothers and sisters are lawyers, doctors, CEOs, etc. We come from all walks of life and professions. By the way, I ride a custom built Harley-Davidson hog and own a ducati.
Tell us about your involvement in Ruff Ryders Films? And what made you accept?
Tariq Alexander: I was approached by Waah and Dee to fun the film division. And firstly, I would like to say it’s an honor to even be considered. When you look at the scope of what was done on the music side with all the albums they sold as well as all the chapters that have been started. It wasn’t a hard to convince me, simply based off what was already established. It’s time for Ruff Ryders to dominate again and the question is how do we make relevant in 2014. And the answer to that is basing the films off of the all hit songs that Ruff Ryders Entertainment have released and make feature-length movies out of them.
Are there enough hours in the day to be a screenwriter, producer and actor? How do you manage your time?
Tariq Alexander: I would say very carefully, but that’s the a question you would have to ask my team. And they would tell you it’s probably pulling their hair out trying to deal with all the thoughts that I have in my head because I’m not thinking only as a CEO, but I’m also thinking from a creative standpoint. It’s very challenging but it’s also rewarding and I wouldn’t do anything differently.
What type of films will you guys be making?
Tariq Alexander: Like said before we will be making films based off of the hit songs from Ruff Ryders Entertainment’s catalog. I film will be dark and edgy but they will have always have substance, no buffoonery at all. I think we, as people of color have released enough films that include that stuff. I will make films that will uplift and move us forward. I believe this generation and the generations to come need to know our history, especially our lost history.
Will DMX be cast in any of these films?
Tariq Alexander: That all depends on DMX himself. We would love to include in the films that we’re doing but that’s a decision that will be made by him and his team.
In 2002, it was reported that Wesley Snipes would be cast in a Ruff Ryder film “When the Ride Is Ruff,” which follows the gang on the run from a biker rally in Myrtle Beach to New York City. Is this still a possibility?
Tariq Alexander: No question. We love Wesley Snipes. That’s a project that Waah is very interested in making but we’ll be putting a different twist on it and Wesley Snipes is an incredible actor, so we’ll see if we can get him on board.
Will Ruff Ryders Films be financing their own projects or will you guys partner with a studio
Tariq Alexander: Both. But even with that said, we’re very much so self-contained. We’re not looking for them, and when I say them, I’m referring to the outside studios. We’ll be going about it a different way. Traditionally distribution but also non-traditional. We’re going to create the content and let it speak for itself. We have no problem partnering with a studio, we just to want make sure we’re in control and make these studios come to us.
Why do you feel that Hollywood doesn’t get how to properly market urban films?
Tariq Alexander: It’s not that they don’t get how to properly market urban films, it’s more so that don’t see it as a profitably market for them. And Hollywood isn’t as big a people think, it’s a small industry. If you’re a top executive, you make the movies that your people wanna see. And that’s the reason I say we greenlight our own movies.
What’s the first film up? What’s it about?
Tariq Alexander: Ruff Ryders: Ride or Die. The principle is practically the same thing we spoke about earlier about the Wesley Snipes project. It’s an action film about the Ruff Ryders motorcycle club going down south to unify all bikers and all hell breaks loose.
What future projects are on the horizon?
Tariq Alexander: I’ll give you a sneak preview and not much more. (Laughs). The one we’re really excited about after the Ruff Ryders film is called The Last Stand of The Moors. And it’s a period piece that takes place in 1920 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The film is based on Black Wall Street, one of the most affluent communities in America in the 1900s, that was burned to the ground.
Any closing remarks?
I don’t think anyone can tell a story about us better than us. So why shouldn’t we tell it? So sit back and buckle up and be prepared for a wonderful ride. There’s so much more to come, especially with our distribution arm via TSW Mall. If have seen it yet, check it out at TSWMall.com and for film updates you guys can go to RuffRydersFilms.com