"Hawaii" Mike // Follow
NAME: Dante Ross
OCCUPATION: A&R guy Warner Brothers Records/Marketing consultant/ Supra Footwear/former downtown derelict
WHY: He's been a contributor and integral part of our culture since the late 80s. He's the epitome of Downtown NY, a flag bearer of not only hip-hop but music overall, plus, he's Dante "The Scrub!"
FOLLOW: Twitter | Instagram
Born in the bay raised in NY on the pre-gentrified LES. Discovered graffiti, skateboarding and Punk Rock early in life. Hung with the Bad Brains and the Beasties in High School and got hip to the hop early on. I had an eclectic cultural and musical upbringing. Spent ages15-20 in Windsor terrace BK and worked at Def Jam early on, then Tommy Boy Records where I Executive Produced/ A&R'd De La Souls classic 3 Feet High and Rising as well as signing the Queen named Latifah. Jumped over to Elektra Records were I had the pleasure of signing Brand Nubian, KMD, Del [The Funky Homosapien], Pete Rock and CL smooth, The legendary ODB and Busta Rhymes amongst others. Produced a record for my boy Everlast called Whitey Ford sings The Blues as well as a lot of other peoples records. Won a Grammy for producing and co writing a song on Carlos Santana's Supernatural. EMI songwriter, skateboard enthusiast, street art collector, sober weirdo and occasional fanager. Currently living in NYC but hit the left coast often.
HOW DID YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO FOR YOUR CAREER?
I still haven't to be honest. I have creative and career ADD to the next level. Thinking about being a floral arranger a lot these days to be honest.
MY BIGGEST BREAK WAS…
Getting De La Soul dropped in my lap.
TELL OUR READERS WHAT YOU'RE MOST KNOWN FOR
Being called a “scrub,” signing ODB, helping Reinvent Everlast as Whitey Ford and winning a Grammy with Santana.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS, ACCOMPLISHMENTS OR AWARDS SO FAR IN YOUR CAREER?
Winning a Grammy and going to get Lyor Cohen his lunch daily when I was 21 years young.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Art in all mediums from athletics to fine art. High brow to lowbrow, no boundaries. Think Christian Hosoi and Kandinsky. Bukowski to Jack Kirby. Throw in some John Coltrane, Fugazi and Outkast circa Aquemini and you get the drift.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT WOULD SURPRISE OUR READERS
I love Hardcore Punk Rock and Heavy Metal.
IF I WASN'T ME I WOULD BE…
Somebody else because it's not easy being green or yellow or purple.