Memphis Bleek’s career in music started off by chance in Brooklyn’s Marcy projects. Hip-Hop historians know his humble story well, but those who have been oblivious to the Roc-A-Fella empire over the last two decades may need to brush up on the house that JAY Z built. From his first verse on Hov’s Reasonable Doubt album to his current status as label owner — Warehouse Music, home to Casanova and Manolo Rose — the Bed-stuy raised entrepreneur has grown from street rapper to executive in both the music and liquor worlds.
“Anything I’m called upon to do, I do,” says Bleek about his role at D’USSE. “When it’s time to move numbers, I move numbers, when it’s time to find extra work [I do that]. When it’s time to find a situation that works best for us in the long run [ I do that, too].
As he officially hangs his mic up, the Brooklynite is eager to dive further and further into the corporate world, and D’USSE is just the beginning. What started out as a conversation with his mentor is now Bleek’s full-time job.
“I was in JAY Z’s office and I told him I want to transition from music. I never had a job in my life, never had a summer youth program — nothing. I did music my whole life. [I’m not] saying that’s a good thing, so I wanted to try my hand at working. I’m a part of everything [at D’USSE]. I started this thing, when the first hashtag went out it was on my page.”
However, this isn’t just some money-making side hustle for Memphis, he truly believes in the product and envisions himself evolving with the company into different roles. Eventually he would like to become a regional manager at the brand — and expand the company into new markets.
“Cognac is a hard market to break into,” says Bleek with a smile. “Women didn’t like cognac until we came out, we told ’em it’s the new flat tummy tea [laughs]. For fans who are still craving new music from the rap veteran, do not hold your breath.
“I haven’t picked up a pen or wrote in a year. I haven’t even listened to any beats. I’m focused solely on Manolo Rose, Casanova and D’USSE. Once all three of these are at at certain position than maybe I can get back to having some fun.”