Cortez Bryant, CEO of Bryant Management (manager to Lil Wayne & Drake) sat with Larry LeBlanc from CelebrityAccess.com and broke down how exactly he got started in the music industry, his New Orleans roots, how Lil Wayne and him built their bond from playing the Cymbals, the Young Money brand, Lil Twist’s organic relationship with Justin Bieber and a slew of more interesting facts.
Below I’ve posted two excerpts from the extensive interview. In the first, Bryant visits back to when Weezy called on him to manage his career and how he was skeptical about taking on such responsibilities since he had no prior experience in the entertainment industry. Cortez then reminisces on the moment he discovered Drake’s star power, even before releasing his critically acclaimed mixtape So Far Gone.
Wayne called you up in your senior year in 2003 and asked you to come and work with him?
He told me that he was ready to move further with his career as an artist. That he could be expanding outside of what he was doing. He wanted me to help him out. He was in an unpleasant place at that time. He needed someone to help him out; (someone) that he thought was smart enough to do it. I guess that I was the college guy. I’m the smart guy. I’m the nerd of the crew. So he hit me up as a friend. I ended up going on the road on weekends for my last semester in school when he was doing clubs shows and things like that. Just to help out, to break in. Once he asked me, I said, “I don’t know what I’m doing but together we can get it. I can learn.”
With Drake’s television background, he could also be a film star.
And, I didn’t know about that. It was three to four months before I found out. I was DJing for Wayne at the time. I was Wayne’s DJ for the past 5 or 6 years. We were on the road for about three months (touring). Drake would hang out with me after the show. Time to break down, and we’d just leave.
We were in Salt Lake City or Denver, I can’t remember what city we were in, but it was in the middle of nowhere in the Midwest, and we are breaking down. The show is over. We had a great show. We killed it. There’s about 200 people still lined up in front of the stage. Most of them women. Most of them little white girls screaming. So I‘m like, “I must have done a god job. Wow, they’re screaming for me. Wayne’s going on in about 10 minutes. They are really still screaming for me.” But I start hearing, “Jimmy, Jimmy.” I’m thinking, “Who the hell is Jimmy? They are not talking about me.” I look to the right, and I see him waving and smiling. “Hello, what’s going on here?” He whispers over to me, “I forgot to tell you. I was on this (Canadian TV) show for, like 7 seasons, called “DeGrassi.” Jimmy was my character.” I was like “What? You act too? Oh, my God.”