RESPECT.: Where you from and who are your musical influences?
Mr. Foster: I was born in Washington D.C. and repping all of Eastern North Carolina from the 919, 910 & 252 areas. I had the blessings of growing in a family that loves music. I grew up listening to all types of music and playing the drums. At the time P Diddy, Suge Knight and Master P were the up and coming Entertainment Moguls in the Industry. I have always paid special attention to those three, studying & listening to all the projects they were apart of not to exclude interviews, docu-series , write-ups and articles about them and their careers too. I literally studied and paid attention. Locally in Atlanta my influences are ATL Top 20, Rap Juggernaut and couple other industry entrepreneur professionals in the Atlanta area.
RESPECT.: How did you get your name?
Mr. Foster: My name comes from serving in the military. In the military you are always called by your rank and last name. Now that i’m a civilian I was still being called by my last name because most my peers were still military or knew me from the military. So to sound more distinguished I added the “Mr” part forming together “Mr Foster. ”
RESPECT.: How did you first get involved with hip-hop?
Mr. Foster: Besides growing up on the hip hop culture; Professionally being involved in hip hop was when I was a club/ restaurant co-owner . Having to reach out to book talent and deal with promoters, managers, artist, and DJ’s; really learned how the business went and also teamed up with other owners and promoters to boost business at their establishments and bigger events.
RESPECT.: Is it better business on artist or production side?
Mr. Foster: I would say the business on the production side is easier. You set the tempo and with it being so much technology you can spend the majority of your time in the comfort of your home with the proper gear . Emails can be sent, phone calls made, all done at the studio or house. On the hand being an artist manager or doing business with Artist you often have to feed into egos and the egos of the people that can influence them. Artist like to feel important so you often have a meeting about the meeting to the meeting and it can become frustrating. Spend a lot of time pleasing the artist and making sure everything goes right . whether you’re out an about showing up whenever and wherever the artist is. Or chasing down artist money, verses or music owed for his /her project, making sure artist turns in features for other songs or whatever the label needs; simply making sure progress being made in the artist career on whatever your dealing with at the time around the artist. A lot of more business required dealing with artist rather than the songwriter, production or engineering side.
RESPECT.: You recently signed a deal with Empire, how important is ownership?
Mr. Foster: It is my belief that ownership of music in a physical form is as essential to music culture as it is to society’s home ownership. If you own your own home , do you not take better care of it? Do you take more pride in your surroundings , perhaps even invest money into maintaining it? If you own something you have stake in it. Martin Luther King Jr. said ” “There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of people in that society who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have a stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don’t have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.” This can easily be applied to the music industry and Entertainment industry as a whole. Least thats how I view it. Ownership is something that I stand on alongside with my business partner Davis Chris and our brand DFD Music. It only made sense to do the deal with Empire since they are independent and incorporate a lot of the same views we stand on.
RESPECT.: What is one thing you are proud of about your career path?
Mr. Foster: I am proud that I served in the military first . The military culture and multiple overseas war experiences taught me a lot about structure, discipline, dedication, determination, integrity, honor , courage and selfless service. Also going to college and actually learning about the book version of entertainment business and audio engineering. It helps me build a lot of solid relationships that have paid off after graduating. College also opened more doors and led to me having paid internships and employment with some of the most prestigious companies and personnel in the industry . Having relationships in the industry is vital to success. Literally you can’t really do but so much without relationships with decision makers. It was the same way in the military so I guess you can say my experiences with the military and civilian life tie hand in hand for my success thus far.
RESPECT.:Any advice you can tell the youth about how to pursue their passion?
Mr. Foster: Start building relationships now. You never know where people are going to be 4-5 years from now. Also stay in school and get an education. The streets are even more dangerous than when I was coming up. Education is more vital to success these days. Learn your craft, study your craft , practice your craft & master your craft. There is a theory that it takes 20,000 hours to master a craft. I firmly believe in that. There are no shortcuts in this industry. As a winner, never give up on your dreams and stay consistent in all that you do. It is the only way you will gain traction and success in life.
RESPECT.: Which producers would you like to work with in the future?
Mr. Foster: Man it’s so many greats to name but I would love to keep collaborating with my business partner Davis Chris but also the likes of Timberland, DJ Khaled, P Diddy, J White, Tay Keith, DJ Suede the Remix God, Kc Da Beatmonster, Igot20onmybeat, Mike Wil Made It, and Murda Beatz. My dream would be able to work with everyone on at least one project or all on one project in the near future.
RESPECT.:What’s next for you?
Mr. Foster: This month we will be releasing the single “Realest In The Room”. where Davis Chris and I teamed up with Quality Control Music artist Duke Deuce plus AceVane and Alexis Branch and on the production side we collaborate with Von Vuai. The song is sure to be timeless and a summer smash. Also later this summer will also be dropping a R&B project where we ( DFD Music) teamed up with 30 different artist , producers, songwriters and engineers from all over the world.
RESPECT.: What does RESPECT. mean to you?
Mr. I grew up listening to Aretha Franklin sing about it and other rappers rap about it . The word “Respect” is like the key ingredient of all ethical business practices alongside fairness and integrity. It is a core value that has and will always be a part of me. I appreciate and consider who a person is and often do favors not only for them but for what’s already instilled in me as a respectful person. People may never remember what someone did but you’ll always remember how someone made you feel. That’s how I hand out respect .
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