Having the responsibility of building the success of an entertainer is no small feat. Beyond the smoke and mirrors , it’s very seldom that anyone sees what’s behind the curtain to recognize those most responsible for keeping an artist’s ship afloat.
For Millz Lucas, taking center stage for his success as a music manager is not what drives his passion. At 23, he is the manager and CEO of his company, Talk Money Entertainment. The platform handles the management of six different artists, one of them being hip hop’s latest rising stars, Jay Critch.
I was able to speak with Millz in the midst of his busy schedule of prepping for the new year. Even though the pandemic slowed things down for artists, he expresses how the Talk Money team have not skipped a beat, making sure they don’t fall behind. At this point in the game, Millz is all about keeping the momentum going.
In the Beginning
For Millz, music management was not the career path he originally sought after. He and Jay Critch have been friends since childhood. The pair were spending summers hanging out every day when Jay decided to get into music. Without realizing it at that time, Millz notes how even in those days he began to see the business behind generating an artists buzz and building a team. From there, management was a role that he naturally stepped into.
“That’s how I really fell into managing, that’s how me and Jay really know each other and how the team, we just build off each other. We was just neighborhood kids, just hanging around each other. We played sports together, we do everything together. The good and the bad.” he explains.
In his late teens Millz started to attend Delaware State University as an accounting major. As Critch’s career began to take off in New York, Millz spent less time in classes and more time doing ground work on his campus pushing Critch’s music.
I was on the college campus so I really was there to hang out, I got to be 100. My family gonna hear this and go oh wow but yeah I was just in there bullshittin. Little did I know that I was basically just spreading music out there. I was always just doing the regular ones and two’s and I was playing Jay everywhere I went out there so it just gained traction.-Millz Lucas
It didn’t take long for Mills to realize that college was no longer the path for him. Soon after, he made the bold decision to drop out of school and become a music manager full time.
All Eggs In One Basket
Transitioning from buying textbooks to booking gigs definitely came with a few learning curves initially. Millz recalls in the early stages of managing he sometimes learned the hard way that there was more to the job that met the eye.
The hard work and growing pains from his earlier bookings began to soon pay off after the team touched down in New York and saw the turn out for the first ever Jay Critch and Friends.
The event featured Critch alongside others performing at Irving Plaza in New York City. The sold out show was the first time Millz Lucas and his team touched back in New York after Jay’s signing to a record label in 2017. That same year, Millz also coordinated his first successful European tour, a moment he defines as one that really stamped him as a manager in the game.
Accomplishing sold out shows and world tours inb under five years would give anyone instant bragging rights. Millz Lucas however, remains humble knowing that there is still so much more to he’s got to learn. A problem he currently faces is dealing with the frustration of entering rooms where the people are much older than and he is often ignored.
It kills me because it’s like, yeah, you’re young in this game and that’s just really what is. I be having meetings with people that’s twice my age like and they don’t take me serious just because I’m young 23. I’m still in my rookie year that’s how I look at it.
Frustrations aside, he feels confident in his path because he understands that it’s bigger than him. In the earlier days, there were times he recalled where people would often say that he had to look a certain way if he were to be taken seriously as a manager. From his perspective, showing up as himself is what will spark more diversity in the industry behind the scenes.
The people that like are in the industry, that are in the bigger positions, they don’t look like us. I really want to stand on that platform and be like yo, I’m myself. I’m me and I’m able to do things that anybody in my position would be able to do and i’m doing it looking like me. Especially during this time it’s, I just never want to lose who I am.
Only Up From Here
As Talk Money Managment’s C.E.O, he oversees other artists which include; Mally, Vendetta, No Pulp, and their latest female signee, Sky Banks. Millz places heavy emphiasis on how important it is that his team is more like family more than anything.
Being around so many artists it’s no surprise that he has ventured into a studio. Despite few attempts in the past he humorously recalls, he expressed no desire to cross over the main stage. He confidently expresses that his role as manager is his true passion.
I just love management. I love this I really do have fun with this stuff, like as far as just making everything happen. I’m okay with looking on the TV knowing like yo, damn I made this happen. Bumping a song and it’s like oh damn I need this happen, it’s lit.
At the end of the day, Millz Lucas only wants to pave the way to success on his own terms. Turning a pastime into a growing empire, he encourages anyone that wants to be in his shoes that anything is possible.
To all the young people, don’t lose who you are in this. Stay focused and just grasp it, you got to go grab it. I know that sounds like a dream and a myth but when you doing something that people aren’t doing it’s going to sound like a dream and a myth.