Hip-hop is forever changing! The culture has morphed into a lifestyle that's fresh, open-minded and digital-savvy.
And David Bullock, founder of digital marketing agency 907 Agency, is easily pushing the culture forward on his own terms, as he encompasses what it really means to be a hip-hop tastemaker. David continues to stay on the brink of a new idea, setting a standard for what's hot and what's not through social media, events and pure marketing genius.
David took some time to answers questions with BET Digital about the industry, his influences and artist culture. Check it out below!
BET DIGITAL: Tell us, how did you get started in the entertainment industry?
DAVID BULLOCK: My freshman year in college at Howard University I threw a party that trended worldwide on Twitter. Wale’s marketing team reached out to me and extended an opportunity to start working on their PR team. I saw entertainment as an opportunity to gain influence over the masses.
BETD: Who was the primary person who pushed your career to the next level even after your first gig?
DB: Grammy Award winner The World Famous Tony Williams. I was excelling and being recognized for my work prior to meeting Tony at SXSW 2014 but the day after we met everything turned up to a new level. Having the opportunity to work with such an elder statesman gave me a chance to soak up knowledge, be exposed to new opportunities and show the world what I can execute. We still work together and have become great friends. I’m gearing up to help him with the release of his new album, To Gain the World: King or the Fool, Volume 2, which has credits from Marsha Ambrosius and his cousin Kanye West.
BETD: You’ve been awarded the opportunity to work with some amazing influencers and artists in hip-hop. What's one thing that surprises you each time about your work?
DB: The thing that surprises me about my work is the impact it has on others and their career. Working with artists specifically creates situations that are at times hard to fathom. No matter how their music sounds, the approach that I choose to take on the digital integration of the project will have a direct impact on the success of the project and their career overall.
BETD: What is the most common misconception and what is common truth about working with artists?
DB: The most common misconception is that artists lives are perfect just because the majority of society only sees their larger than life personas. A common truth is a lot of artists and people in entertainment in general aren’t loyal to you, rather loyal to what you can do for them so it can be hard to cultivate genuine relationships.
BETD: Career-wise, what’s the next step you plan to take to push your work to the next level? What’s the legacy you plan to leave behind?
DB: I’m diving head first into tech. My best friend from Alaska, Mitch Bustamante, moved to LA to develop a mobile game with me and we’re using influencer marketing and some viral tactics to push it to the top of the app store. I want to be remembered as a great mind who had the ability inspire movements and to not just set trends but set standards.
BETD: If you could cite one person as your creative inspiration, who would it be?
DB: The founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey. I met Jack in Oakland and informed him how I started my career on Twitter and told him how grateful I was that he was instrumental in creating the platform. He appreciated my humility and invited me to meet with hi. in their headquarters the next time I was in the area.
BETD: Using four words, how would you describe your come-up story?
DB: "I’m not lazy anymore." My sophomore year in college I decided to stop being “lazy” and create my own path by any means necessary. When I began to actively pursue every opportunity strategically, relentlessly and with a high level of confidence, I realized the results that can be driven when you focus and don’t let anything distract you from your goals.
BETD: What two people would you attribute to your continued success?
DB: My mother and The World Famous Tony Williams. My mom is always there to support me and she inspires me through her vigorous work ethic. Tony has positioned me in situations that have allowed me to connect with the most powerful people in tech, sports and entertainment.
BETD: Most people grow up idolizing artists, hoping to brush shoulders with artists or finding their way to work alongside artists in the industry. You’ve have fortunately had the extraordinary opportunity that most young adults would kill for to work with companies such as Revolt, Atlantic Records, Warner Music and more. How would you describe your job experience thus far?
DB: Just before “No Type” blew up for Rae Sremmurd, I had booked them to perform at my party for Howard Homecoming. The day after the party I ran into Swae Lee in the middle of campus and he was just hanging out with his DJ, Jay Sremm, killing time before their flight. Within an hour, I got them a live interview on the biggest radio station in D.C., we made a cameo in a music video that was premiered on World Star, I took them on the field of the football game and had a company sponsor them with some free gear. Their campus excursion went so smoothly that Swae Lee took to camera to inform the world, “This man right here is the plug.” Experiences like that began to set the tone for how serendipitous my life would be over the coming years.
BETD: As a hip-hop influencer, you've proved that hip-hop can and does make waves in the community. As hip-hop ranks supreme as the most popular genre, why do you think hip-hop has become so important for the culture right now?
DB: Hip-hop is culture. It sets the trends for what is and isn’t cool. Its deeper than just music and fashion, the whole lifestyle is now being imitated by people of all walks of life.
BETD: In your opinion, who is the most influential artist in the genre today?
DB: Kanye West. Most artists attempt to emulate his style, fashion, music, cadences and overall formula. He is a mogul and trendsetter.
BETD: You've connected with the right people and learned the ropes of the game. Your career is truly a testament to how far you've come. What would you say has been the most rewarding moment so far?
DB: The most rewarding moment of my career thus far was when I was watching the NBC news with my mom and she saw a feature segment they had created about me. She was surprised and proud to see my hard work paying off. In the future, I want to put all of my friends in jobs that pay six figures.
BETD: Work is never without sacrifices and success is all about taking risks. What do you believe has been your biggest sacrifice to date?
DB: Taking the risk to build my own business, 907 Agency, from the ground up as opposed to going to work for a company that was already established. When I was first starting off, it was hard to obtain clients simply because it is hard for people to believe that someone without an extensive track record can drive results. Now that my reputation has been built, I don’t face that issue anymore but that was a big barrier to entry. I would make that same sacrifice 10 out of 10 times. You have to take risks if you want to achieve massive success.