Artist, Producer, Songwriter/Arranger, Talent Manager, A&R, Creative
Affectionately known as the male half of the veteran Chicago Hip Hop duo Abstract Mindstate, Olskool Ice-Gre has since taken on many forms.
With years of music industry experience, ranging from artist to business man, this visionary continues working to establish himself as the next "It Guy" in the world of entertainment. By the time Greg graduated from Jackson State University (Jackson, MS) he had already positioned himself for a career in entertainment. His tenure in the Mass Communications department helped to set an aggressive pace toward success.
As a college senior, Greg partnered with his business manager (Armers Moncure) and opened the first Hip-Hop club in Jackson, Ms. He co-founded "The 411" entertainment newspaper with DJ Finesse of 99 Jamz (WJMI) where he held the position of Senior Editor. He was also a member of the street team for Finesse Entertainment & Records. During his college days he also co-founded the legendary Midwest/Southern Hip Hop collective the "Stewpot Stowaways."
This crew is the foundation for several individuals who have enjoyed success in various Hip-Hop based businesses such as; recording artist David Banner, Violator Managements own DJ Scrap Dirty (Violator Allstar DJ's), DJ Phingaprint who is the #1 club/mixtape DJ in Jackson, MS and former tour DJ for David Banner as well as clothing designer Leo Brown of Leo Collections.com whose clothing line has graced the pages of XXL, King and Vibe Magazine and worn by several former B.E.T VJ's such as Julissa, Danella and former hosts of 106th & Park Free & AJ.
After graduating, Greg took advantage of an opportunity to serve as the assistant to the head of publicity for Loud Records (Los Angeles, CA). There he honed his skills and continued to improve his senses for business working publicity for classic Hip Hop albums such as; Mobb Deep's “The Infamous”, Raekwon (of Wu Tang Clan) “Only Built For Cuban Linx” , Tha Alkaholiks “Coast To Coast” and Ol' Dirty Bastards "Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version." Before he could become a major force in the LA market, Greg was forced to return to Chicago due to budget cuts at Loud Records.
Upon his return he was quickly pulled into a project by his good friend, platinum producer Andy C (Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Fat Joe, and The Temptations) who was grooming a then unknown female rap duo by the name of Syndicate. Syndicate, later known as Infamous Syndicate, consisted of DTP's former 1st lady Shawnna and on air personality Teefa of Power 92.3 FM (WPWX-Chicago). Greg handled artist development and promotions for the group. His field marketing campaign fueled the regional hit single "Jenny Jones." The single received enough spins to garner the group a record deal with the now defunct Relativity Records.
After the success of Infamous Syndicate, he redirected his focus toward his own group, Abstract Mindstate. A few years later, coupled with undeniable hard work on and off the stage, Abstract Mindstate quickly became the most recognized group in Chicago. Several regional and national accomplishments were made such as the group taking first place in The Salem Orb-e Nationwide Talent Search sponsored by Def Jam Records as well as The WGCI Music Seminar (an annual music convention held by Chicago’s “Big Station”) where they were crowned “Home Jam Artist of the Year”. After seeing the groups live show at The WGCI Music Seminar, attendees Tone & Poke of Trackmasterz Entertainment decided to advanced the group to the finals of their Natural Talent Competition held in NYC. The group went on to sign a record deal.
Things didn’t work out with the label so Olskool Ice-Gre moved to New York City to shop a new deal for Abstract Mindstate. Little did he know his purpose for being in New York had nothing to do with making himself a star. Kanye West, who he befriended a year plus earlier, got word he moved to NY and requested he come by and see him. At the time, Kanye West “the artist” wasn't a household name like Kanye West “the producer” was becoming in the Hip Hop community. After a few months of working together in vigorous studio sessions, Olskool Ice-Gre became Kanye's personal assistant and head of business affairs for the now defunct Konman Entertainment. Today he can proudly say he was very instrumental in Kanye West’s transition from slightly known Hip Hop producer, to internationally known Hip Hop superstar. Greg will tell you himself that nurturing and supporting the talents of others is an innate quality he posses, which is why several people consider him a mentor, including radio host and former music director of WGCI (107.5FM-Chicago) Kenard “K2” Karter.
In the midst of his various music related positions and moving from city to city, Olskool Ice-Gre felt an urgency to make his own vision a reality so he co-founded his own entertainment company; 4 The Soul-Reciprocity Inc. Established in 2000, the company has been the foundation for several local acts in the Chicago market (most notably soulful R&B artist Trizonna McClendon who made an impact in the Indie Soul music scene). As management opportunities outside of the music business rapidly presented itself, Olskool Ice-Gre recognized that his talents extended far beyond music entertainment. Always one to make use of his talents, skills and capabilities, he felt the need to establish Honest Management LLC. A company with a name that exemplifies what he believes management should be as well as what everybody wants. To date Honest Management represents a small roster of very talented individuals who all have potential to be the next big thing in their perspective arena (www.honest-management.com).
Greg has been and always will be a multi-tasker. He currently owns and operates Honest Management LLC., was the very first A&R of Kanye West’s g.o.o.d music record label (responsible for the recording of My Last by Big Sean feat. Chris Brown), headed his own entertainment company; 4 The Soul-Reciprocity Inc. (now defunct) and published a book; I Refuse To Quit! The Autobiography of A Dreamer (available at Borders.com & Amazon.com). Greg has always had his sight set on establishing himself as a music mogul as well as the number one “dream based” motivational speaker in the world.
Past Highlights as an artist and writer:
2009 – Feature performance artist @ Agape International Spiritual Center for a concert celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Wrote and arranged song lyrics for music legends The Stylistics. Album entitled "The Same Way" released on VC Music Japan. Tentative US release summer '09.
2008- Released solo project entitled: The Gregarious Mixtape
Released final group project entitled: Chicago's Hardest Working Mixtape Vol.3: The Celebration
Feature artist on "Shy Guy" from the debut album by Canadian rapper Promise entitled "More Than Music" on DFS Records (released Aug '08).
Feature artist for Apple Store performance with Latin Jazz musician Freddie Ravel (1st act to kick off the series for the west coast)
"When We Rock" & "Fallin" (from Chicago's Hardest Working Vol.3: The Celebration) featured on A Change Gone Come mixtape by Rashid Hadee
2007- Host of The Hip Hop Stage African Festival of the Arts (Chicago)
2006- Feature artist on "Ghetto Legacy" & "Deeper You Go" from the BCS Records release by Preston Glass entitled Street Corner Prophecy
2005- Wrote and recorded “Flip Hop” with Freddie Ravel for the film “Feet on Fire”.
Released Chicago's Hardest Working Vol.1 (Mixtape)
Launched the website for entertainment company 4 The Soul-Reciprocity Inc. www.4thesoul-reciprocity.com
2004 – Featured artist on “Its All Realness” with Hip Hop legend Special Ed for his come back album Still Got It Made.
Wrote and arranged R&B track entitled "Oooh Wee" for Virgin/EMI Recording Artists Frayne
2003 – Featured on the Kanye West mixtape entitled I’m Good.
2000-2001 Abstract Mindstate signs deal with C.R.E.A.M Entertainment, Distributed by 404 Music Group. Note: With zero promotion the album still managed to soundscan over 5000 units.
Music Video Features:
Leela James - Song: "Music" Label: Warner Bros. Format: Soul / Role played: the drummer in her band
David Banner - "I Aint Got Nothin" Label: SRC/Universal Format: Rap / Role played: a thief who got choked by the artist
Kanye West - "Through The Wire" Format: Hip Hop / Role played: Himself , "Jesus Walks 3" Format: Hip Hop / Role played: a cripple Jesus heals and "The New Workout Plan" Format: Hip Hop / Role played: One of Kanye's guys fawning over the girl