Essince: How [are] you doing?
Skent Dukes: What’s up, Champ?
Essince: First of all, please introduce yourself; your name, where you’re from, how long you’ve been in the game. You know. All that stuff.
Skent Dukes: It’s your boy, Skent Dukes reppin’ Hush Money [Management]. Been doin’ this music thing for about…9 years now. Been doin’ albums, mixtapes, producing, writing, you know…all that good stuff.
Essince: What exactly IS Hush Money? Is it a record label? Is it a crew? What is it?
Skent: Hush Money Management was started by Jay. It consists of Jay managing three artists being R.O.B., Skent Dukes, and CJ. That’s basically what Hush Money is and under that umbrella we also got a marketing team, a street team, graphic design…you know. Different people for different jobs.
Essince: Can you explain the importance of team building and branding? With a label or brand like Hush Money you can promote in a lot of different avenues…maybe even more than just as an artist.
Skent: Whenever you see a project or something we put together like an album or any type of venue, you’ve got to have a solid team to help you out with that. Can’t nobody to this music thing or this entertainment thing by theyself. You need input from a lot of different people with a lot of different perspectives. That’s how you get a great product. So that’s why a team, or whoever you’re surrounded with is just as important as any other aspect of your music. You know what I’m sayin‘? Whether it’s your beats or your writing, your performances, anything else you need your team first. Without that you can’t do nothing. That’s what I feel about the team, man.
Essince: What are some of the goals of Hush Money? Whenever I’m out in Cleveland I see y’all out at shows. Do you plan on expanding out of Cleveland or do you want to tackle the home market first and THEN let everyone else know?
Skent: Let me answer your first question first which was what’s the goal of Hush Money. Basically our goal, man, is to put on for the city. Rep Cleveland to the fullest. You know, show love to whoever trying to move in the game. Also, our goal is to put out quality music and trying to expand. You know? I’m in Atlanta right now. I’ve been working this market like crazy. Working the south like crazy. Definitely looking to expand and bring in talent, bring in different aspects of the business. Not necessarily rap, you know what I’m saying? There’s other things that Hush Money does as far as events that can basically contribute to our overall goal and success. Puttin’ on for the city, you know what I’m sayin’?
Essince: Now for you personally, Skent, what are some of your goals? Do you ever plan on doing behind the scenes like developing artists down the road for Hush Money?
Skent: I’m always gonna do music whether it’d be me doing a compilation, or putting out an artist, or producing, I’m always gonna be somewhere in the music game. Throughout the duration of my life I pretty much don’t see myself doing anything else unless there’s some music involved with it. Most definitely, man. So when I’m done with my run of that lane I’mma be back in the producing or back helping someone else go on the same travels that Skent went. Hush Money’s gonna be doing shit for a long time coming.
Essince: Earlier you mentioned the street team. If someone wanted to get involved and really spread the Hush Money name how do they contact someone or how do they get involved with promoting the Hush Money name?
Skent: I’m basically in all the little internet circles, twitter, myspace, face book. They can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.twitter.com/skent_dukes, search “skent” on Facebook and I come up. You can just get with me like that. That’s always welcome. The Hush Money team, the people we surround ourselves with are basically good people. Coming from the streets and shit you get a negative publicity or whatever. But on here we promote kickin it, fun, good music, just basically being productive. We did come from the streets but we keep that in the music. You know what I’m saying? We gotta bring that out.
Essince: Thanks for taking your time out. I’ve been to a few of your shows with my homie, DJ Jack da Rippa, seen you at the [Ohio Hip Hop] Awards. I respect what y’all are doing.
Skent: I appreciate that ten-fold, man.
Again, here is the contact info for Skent Dukes.
Tell him Essince sent ya.