Nowadays we hear people boast stories of their perseverance with metaphors as “got it out the mud” or “started from the bottom”, but some have seldom experienced real poverty. Donius “Woodrow” Woods was born to teenage parents in the Mississippi Delta which is poorest region in the poorest state in the United States.
It is also the birthplace of media queen Oprah Winfrey, as well as rappers Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg, and Nate Dogg.
Although the Mississippi Delta has a rich history of musical icons, it is still a place that lacks the resources to be a progressive region and consistent factor in the entertainment industry as a whole.
“Several people made it out of my region, but many don’t come back or even represent our home so it’s still in dire need. You gotta be a hustler to thrive where I’m from because ordinary methods won’t suffice. I never paid attention to what other people had or did, I was always grateful for what I had and made the most of it.”
Woods continued, “Less resources meant I had to be more creative and outwork many of my peers. I work like my life depends on it because the life I envision for my family and generations to come, depends on it.”
In a nutshell, Woods truly started from scratch which gives him a unique ability to get the most out of often limited and difficult circumstances.
Mr. Woods has helped rebrand the careers of Lil Zane, Young Dro, Jhonni Blaze. While being instrumental in the early career stages of Money Man, Tokyo Jetz, MoneyBagg Yo, and Big Boogie to name a few.
Along with management the Mississippi go getter has curated stages and events for SXSW, A3C, Rolling Loud and CIAA, that plays an instrumental role of connecting audiences to emerging talents such as Lil Baby, Meg Thee Stallion, Duke Deuce, BeatKing, Derez Deshon, T Rell, and others. While utilizing partnerships w/ Belaire, WingStop, Rap Snacks, DJ Holiday, and Kim SoMajor.
Woods maintains he has accomplished many goals independently without major label support or resources.
“Elliot Stroud of Atlantic Records saw my value as a music executive and gave me a shot at Grand Hustle Studios here in Atlanta. Although I never accepted a position with the label, a lot of work was outsourced through me during that tenure. I amassed a plethora of knowledge from the late great Bankroll Fresh’s father “K Rich” while negotiating deals for the posthumous album release In Bank We Trust,” shared Woods.
Music execs from Leon Porter, Keith Fergus, B. Rich, to Wade B., along with Grammy-winning songwriter “London Jae”, Grammy-winning engineer “Fletcher Vaughn”, RIAA Certified Platinum producers FKi, have all collaborated with Woods on special projects.
Woods is also known to have close ties with music’s heavy hitters Zaytoven, 808 Mafia, BeatMonsters, Yung Lan, Go Grizzly, Quay Global, and SephGotTheWaves, securing his position on the production side.
Producers like FloweBeatz, the late great Denali The Don, and others have been early collaborators of the Mississippi native.
Hardwork and dedication to the craft led Woods to gain placements for projects with YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Kodak Black, Yo Gotti, Boosie, PeeWee Longway, JayDaYoungan, BlocBoy JB, B Simone, Cuban Doll, Karlae, Motown Records, 300 Ent. And although these artists are signed to major labels, Woods executed successfully working on the independant side of the music business.
Woods is also a vital part of the artists marketing plan which includes his work as a publicist through his company The Umbrella Firm.
Not many can say they are involved in both the creative process as well as the business aspect of an artist’s career while negotiating deals with the likes of Shawn Barron (Motown), Chris Jones (Atlantic Records), Norva Denton (Warner Records), Lester Pace (Roc Nation) Jason Zerden (Create Music Group/Stem), Tuma Basa (YouTube), and Amber Grimes (LVRN).
The US Army Vet’s resourceful nature and work ethic in an everchanging music industry has clearly thrived despite setbacks from harsh circumstances that come with working in genre of Hip Hop.
Nevertheless, with “A Hustler’s Prayer” and Faith, Donius “Woodrow” Woods has put in his time and effort to make something out of nothing.
Currently you can catch up with Woods via his company,
Goat Mode Productions and watch him starring in the Lil Boosie Biopic, My Struggle and Andre Rison’s Biopic Wide Open.
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