When a new artist management group pops up, it’s typically not newsworthy. But, when that group snags one of the more recognizable names in Milwaukee Hip-Hop and several others that are not only known, but are respected by many people in the scene, it becomes something that should be highlighted.
I became aware of this new movement near the top of the year after I learned that Misen Lync was parting ways with the Umbrella Music Group…leaving to be without a label but instead picking up management. This wasn’t due to any animosity, I believe, rather it was just a business move Maal and the others felt was necessary to become flagship caliber artists. All in all, you have to try things to grow, and they are still very much friendly so no harm, no foul.
Next, through the relation that Maal has to SPEAK Easy from their working together on the now seemingly defunct Dead Poets Society project, it was a natural progression for him to join up. SPEAK is a very talented guy that can spit circles around a lot of people.
Finally, and this is what might make them more notable, they took over the management duties for Frankie Flowers, a guy who has grown in popularity considerably over the past year/year and a half, through a catchy single, doing lots of shows both in Milwaukee and outside of it, and he has also gained critical acclaim from local media.
As with all management groups, it’s going to be interesting to see what they are actually able to do with the talent that they have in Frankie, SPEAK, Maal, and TKS. Many people often grumble about Milwaukee having a lack of professional leadership to match the talent of the artists. Who knows, maybe IV Tin Soldiers is the group that has been needed for the Lyrical/Backpacker side of the scene, and maybe in the future we’ll talk about them and their achievements like many talk about Geraud Blanks (former manager of Black Elephant, current manager of Element Everest). Only time will tell, but if they are equally as motivated about their artist’s careers as the artists are about the music they’re doing, then they will find a way to succeed.
It’s a horse a piece at the local level where a myriad of labels, “labels”, managers/management groups, publicists, etc. often fail to get to the next level nationally, but manage to build a large local following allowing some money to be made and recognition to come their way. Milwaukee is really a tiny place and so many like to say they are going to do it differently but so many burn out after finally realizing that the outside eyes aren’t going to turn to MKE even though they tried different things. It is quite possible that IV Tin Soldiers could be the exception to the rule. I mean, who really knows?
SPEAK Easy will be releasing a mixtape and an album this year, and the other artists are recording but I’m not sure what else they have on the horizon musically. At the very least, I’m excited about the prospects for SPEAK because he is one of my favorite local artists and he deserves more exposure then he’s already achieved.
As far as the clothing line goes, there is some information about it that can be found on TheMilly.com. I’m know nothing about the fashion industry locally, so I’ll have to defer to my blogosphere comrade’s article.
Here is a track called “Warning Shots” by TKS, SPEAK Easy, Maal Himself, and Frankie Flowers…that go by Same Difference when doing tracks together (recorded/engineered by Dave Derrilykt for Audiopilot Productions).
Same Difference (TKS, SPEAK Easy, Maal Himself, Frankie Flowers) – Warning Shots