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Rashard Partee: Of Music & Moguls ~Wyte Music Records, 2011
Whether handling record label negotiations on his iPhone, laying down vocals for another high-profile collaboration, or pouring through a good read such as The Compassionate Samurai by Brian Klemmer, there is little doubt that Rashard Partee is somehow sharpening his already keen business sense.
Raised on the southside of Memphis, TN in an area known as Whitehaven, affectionately referred to as “Blackhaven” by those in and around the neighborhood, Partee picked up game from local legends while displaying a natural instinct for making connections.
“Blackhaven has a “hustle mentality” and being in the streets, you learn to deal with different personalities,” Partee explains. “I learned a lot of lessons including to be on your toes. One thing I will always do is handle business; business gotta be straight in order to survive.”
Influenced by such powerful hip-hop moguls as Master P, Jay-Z, and of course, Memphis legends DJ Paul & Juicy J, Partee displayed an early knack for musical talent as well. As a member of The Faculty, a rap group including a young producer who would later become Southern hitmaker Drumma Boi, Partee cut his teeth in the rap game as the “King of BHZ”.
Scoring music placements on MTV programs such as Room Raiders and John Singleton’s Oscar-winning film Hustle & Flow, Partee quickly recognized diverse ways to generate revenue. Combining both of his passions, music and business ventures, Partee turned a tight friendship with Memphis rap legend Lil Wyte into the full-fledged record label Wyte Music Records and two nationwide releases in the first quarter of 2011.
“He’s one of the top white rappers in the game, outside of Eminem,” Partee states. “In Memphis, they know Wyte for how real he is and what he does. As business partners, it’s a blessing to find someone with the same goals.”
After spending the past few years navigating regional tours and providing countless features for independent artists, Partee and Lil Wyte oversaw the March 2011 release of ATL lyricist and winner of Vh1’s White Rapper Show $hamrock’s debut LP Tha WyteRapper $how. This album was quickly followed up in April by the Wyte Music/Hypnotize Minds joint venture SNO Year-Round, a super group of Caucasian rappers rhyming atop vintage DJ Paul and Juicy J production.
When asked to describe Wyte Music Records quick assent up the recording industry ladder, having two executive producer credits in one month, and spearheading projects with Three 6 Mafia, Partee still finds it a bit hard to believe:
“Awesome, for it to come true. I knew that one day we would work on something of this level. I’m taking it all in. Paul has been one of my closest mentors and it’s a blessing to be around someone who can help me avoid problems.”
No slouch in the rhyme department either, Partee’s extensive studio resume includes work with Lil Wyte, DJ Paul, Fiend, Frayser Boy, Jelly Roll, $hamrock, and Drumma Boi among many others. The upcoming Cocaine & Kush 3: Shake-N-Bake, a joint album with Lil Wyte, will build on Partee’s successful mixtapes and continue the Wyte Music brand. For Partee, his ultimate goal will always be a work in progress:
“I just want to make this company with Lil Wyte to be as successful as it can be, sell more records, and reach more people. I want to do something within the city, talent shows. I want to see everybody eat and everybody happy.”
Spoken like a true Pisces, Partee’s visionary and leadership characteristics shine through effortlessly. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world sees the master plan unfold.