The 10th Annual Business of Hip-Hop/Urban Music Symposium, presented by the Berklee Music Business/Management Department, features a celebration of one of the most influential genres of music in today's record industry. The event will feature a special panel discussion, the State of the Black Music Business, moderated by Gail Mitchell, Billboard Magazine's urban music senior correspondent.
The panel will feature industry leaders Shawn Gee, manager of artists Jill Scott, the Roots, Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Wayne, and others; Ghazi Shami, president and founder of Empire Distribution, distributor of leading recording artists Fat Joe, D.R.A.M. and others; Claude Kelly, a Berklee alumnus, hit songwriter, and recording artist; and Mark Anthony Neal, a leading academic on black music business issues at Duke University. The event will be followed by a Q&A session with students.
Moderator Gail Mitchell:
Gail Mitchell, a senior editor at Billboard who mainly covers R&B and hip-hop, joined the Los Angeles office in 1999. Mitchell’s position has led to moderating panels and Q&A’s for industry organizations like ASCAP, BMI, the Recording Academy, and the Grammy Museum. Her experience in the industry has been shared in several media outlets, including CNN Entertainment, NBC’s Today Show, and USA Today, to name a few. Before working at Billboard, Mitchell formed writing and editing firm the Write Focus. She began her music journalism career in 1983 at weekly trade publication Radio & Records, where she later became the VP/executive editor. Other achievements include receiving the 2014 Living Legends Media Award, the 2013 Loyola Marymount University and African-American Alumni Association’s William L. Strickland ‘71 Excellence Award, and serving as a national trustee representing the Los Angeles chapter of the Recording Academy.
The event will also feature a special guest performance by Claude Kelly, '02.