Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke presented himself before an audience at Clark Atlanta University’s Aldridge Auditorium to discuss his endeavors and experiences in entertainment as a part of The Blueprint Mega Series, hosted Hot 107.9 radio host Mz. Shyneka on March 9.
It’s been over 13 years since the mogul stepped away from entertainment, leaving his highly successful partnership with fellow co-founders Jay-Z and Damon Dash. As a member of the trio, Burke was the behind-the-scenes guy, helping to sell over 60 million albums while handling marketing and executive producing all albums released under the label.
However, with his return to entertainment, he’s launched two new companies, Circle of Success Management and Bolo Media, which serve as his first steps back into music, fashion, and film as a solo entrepreneur.
“I became a solo team rather than one of three people,” Burke said. “I have partners in some of these businesses but I kind of oversee everything. It’s more of my point of view than a collective.”
After spending more than a decade as a member of a unit, Burke is now faced with the realization that all if the responsibility for his new businesses falls solely on himself.
“Now I have to think about the infrastructure, staffing, marketing, productions, sales, so everything that goes along with that is something that I have to stay close attention to,” Burke said.
Burke says that all of the accomplishments that he racked up while with Roc-A-Fella Records made it easy for him to leave the music industry.
“After selling 60 million records there wasn’t much that needed to be done,” Burke said. “The legacy was secured launching artist like Cam’ron, (DJ) Clue, Beanie Single, State Property, Dip Set, Juelz (Santana), Jay-Z, and so on.”
However, Burke has decided to jump back into music with the launch of his management company Circle of Success Management and the signing of rapper, singer, and songwriter Saint Jhn, known for writing songs for artists like Usher and Jidenna.
“I see him as the next biggest brand in music,” Burke said.
Despite his return to music Burke says that he’s most excited about being able to produce television and film projects that will help further the culture.
Through his new production company, Bolo Media plans to acquire films and television projects to help open the door for Black creatives.
“Basically, I’m looking to acquire television and film projects, probably anything from 100,000 to 100 million”, Burke said. “I want to push the envelope. I want to open the door for a lot of Black women and men that want to enter into film.”
“We did somethings before like the ‘State Properties’ which become cult classics, but I want to do something even bigger.
With Burke being the executive producer on HBO’s prison film “O.G.”, he’s already started making his way back into the film industry.
Burke has even touted that he’s in the beginning stages of developing a Roc-A-Fella Records biopic, saying that its a passion project that he’s very interested in and bring to Jay-Z and Damon Dash once he’s ready to go into production.
Burke told Forbes, “We built something that was huge, right? And that’s still living on today. And it’s probably going to live on forever.”
With this new chapter of business, Burke says that he’s now focused on cultivating profitable relationships and working on the projects that peak his interests the most.
“I turn down a lot of money at this point and time because I’m so focused on relationships. At the same time at least now I can do the things that I want to do. It’s not just about the business, at this age, I want to enjoy what I’m doing.”