Rising Music Star DC Glenn On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Music Industry

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You’ve got to keep negative people away from you, they say. I disagree. What if the people you love the most are the ones who are the most negative in your life?You better learn how to adapt. Life will throw things at you much worse. So this is your chance to practice inventing solutions from negativity that serve you a lifetime.

As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing DC Glenn.

DC Glenn is one half of the multi-platinum hip-hop group Tag Team who created the pop-culture classic, “Whoomp There It Is.”

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I remember growing up being big enough to have a house with a front yard and a backyard where we could play as much as we wanted. And the thing I remember most is being in a community with the same values. It was a middle-class neighborhood. And I remember, looking back on it, that I had several parents looking out for me all the time. Several parents taught me, giving me insight and keeping me out of trouble. So I had a great childhood. And as a grown man, looking back on it, I have not known love.

But my mission is to give the lessons I learned from hundreds of people who looked out for me when I was young to people who aren’t as fortunate as I was growing up. And if I could do that, maybe just one thing I say might steer people the right way.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I believe the thing about me with this career path I’m on presently is that I don’t give up. All the little hustles that I’ve curated in the past-whether it be learning how to implement SEO, becoming a publicist, becoming a musician, learning how to build websites, or learning graphic design, are all things that make me self-sufficient.

I do this because, back in the day, people used to say, “Man, you’re a jack of all trades, master of none.” But if you hustle hard, live long enough, and keep learning how to learn, you will become masterful at all those trades. They come back to serve you in ways you can’t even imagine.

And then you’re genuinely ambidextrous in life. There is nothing that throws you. Nothing can stop you because you have acquired mastery using all the tools from the toolbox to take you anywhere you want. And handle any situation life throws at you.

So, the key for me is preparation, 24/7.

For me, it’s about preparation because preparation is doing everything you can to put yourself in a position to win.

I don’t know how I’ve been doing it! All I know is that I am relentless.

And not only is it about growth but adaptation, and it’s the same because time will pass you by if you don’t adapt. The only way to do that is to grow and learn. So, if the newest technology can help me in my hustle, I have to learn it.

Most of the time, when I try to hire people to do things for me, it doesn’t go well because I end up having to endure being frustrated because I say, “I can do this myself,” but I can’t do everything, I don’t have the time. So, therefore, I go and learn it, then I create my team by teaching people how to do it. You’d be surprised at how many people are out there that are willing to learn and hustle, and it takes a particular person; it’s not for everybody. But it can be.

I try to break it down into simple, practical choices and practical decisions that help me flourish and keep my time.

My life’s work is my legacy.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

In 2003, I was sitting in the movie theater, looking at Will Ferrell’s dance on the table for the song I created, “Whoomp! There It Is!” and I didn’t get any money for it.

In the back of my head, it pissed me off! It almost brought tears to my eyes. But I had to sequester that pride and ego and not look at the glass as half empty but look at the glass as half full. You are in a Christmas movie that will last forever.

It is up to you to get your paper. No one will give you anything.

It is up to you to turn that processor into money, which I’ve done my whole life.

Traumatic events don’t beat me down. They make me stronger. They make me more resilient.

They make me tenacious. They make me seek knowledge. They have the opposite effect that it will have on most of society.

And I got 100 stories like that to take. Life is like baking a cake: it’s how you adapt.

We were in a legal battle for 20 years, and I could’ve become a bitter old rapper, but I said, let me become a paralegal. I’m going to have my day in court, so you better be ready.

And I was, and we prevailed. So you take traumatic events, and you vow that they never happen again.

I am a licensed commodities broker; I do voice over acting, SEO, and digital marketing, all of that because of traumatic events or the things that I wasn’t able to take advantage of because of life. So sometimes you are just not ready, but there are no missed opportunities, no mistakes, and the pandemic taught me that you could correct all of that.

I’m not, at 55, becoming an NFL player because there are limitations, but I can go back and correct all of those things. I beat myself up over life.

For example, in 1994, I was in the bows of Disney, teaching Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse how to rap.

And they’re telling me about voice overs. We had a good time, and it was a great experience, and that started my voiceover career, but because I was in the throes of “Whoomp! There It Is!” I didn’t take advantage of it because my mind wasn’t right, and I beat myself up for years.

I was there. That opportunity was so prime.

The second opportunity came in 1995. Again, I’m in the office of the New Line Cinema. New Line Cinema was a brand new company with three movies under its belt, and my manager went to college with the president.

We’re in his office, and he says, “We’re working on this new movie with Wesley Snipes, and LL Cool J are fighting for the lead.” I’m like, “yeah, yeah.” It was a vampire movie called “The Blade.” I beat myself up for years because I was there.

But now I’m an actor with five movies and five TV shows, and I’ve been doing it for five years. I’m a voiceover artist with a ton of voiceover work. As long as you’re breathing, it is never too late. You’re never too old. There is nothing on this Earth you cannot do, period.

It has been said that mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

We signed a messed-up record contract. It wasn’t an ideal record contract. But the key to all of it is that when you make a decision, you have to take responsibility for it. as a grown-ass man. I took responsibility for signing that contract because it was up to me to go do due diligence and it was up to me to get educated. It was up to me to do all that. Nobody is ever going to do anything for you.

If you don’t accept responsibility, and you always blame somebody for your misfortune, You are never going to come up because you become bitter and you become reluctant.

I just vowed that this was not something that would happen to me again. I said, “You know what, this will never happen again.” Let me go learn about finance, and I became a licensed commodities broker.

But because of the experience I had with the music industry, now I’m investing in all kinds of things. I’m spread out all over the place. I’m filling little bitty buckets, and they grow.

And then you take your money out of your hands, you put it in places where you break even or grow, and you don’t spend it. All these lessons were because of my attitude. You must accept responsibility for your actions. Don’t get me wrong, all of this is easier said than done because there is trauma.

It does pop up in the back of my head, but that’s pride. Pride kills so many men. Pride keeps you from going to the doctor. Pride keeps people from just doing things that could make their lives better. Pride keeps people from educating themselves.

All of it is pride and ego, and they have no place in my sphere. Don’t get me wrong, they are there, but I had to come up with mechanisms to kill my pride and sequester my ego.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I strive to turn one opportunity into ten. One, I am constantly focused on my message. Two, I have infiltrated these organizations that have blessed me. I’ve learned from CEOs and pick their brains to learn how to pitch. It’s unusual for an artist to put together a pitch for an ad agency, let alone anything else.

Every day, I’m a guest speaker on various podcasts, and I’m joining these organizations to help bring all of this to fruition. I’d like to do more Geico commercials and movies. It’s so much fun because I get to do a little bit of everything I enjoy.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

Join an organization. Joining an organization, association, or society can accelerate your path to success.

You’re going to pay anywhere from $100 to $1000 to join and get the game. These entities put you on game and teach you how to play it. I’m talking about the game. The game is about obtaining knowledge in various creative forms that can get you where you want to be.

Teach me the game! Practicing the game develops mastery, which turns you into a superstar at that game.

Think about it. An organization is filled with professionals who love their profession. They have been in the trenches for 10, 20, or 30 years and have become experts in their industry.

I’m going to do the work. I’m going to learn how to do what I need to do, but the game is different. Talk to any artist, actor, or anybody. Their success story is different because of the game. And that’s the key. So if I’m privy to an organization’s resources and knowledge, or network with professionals who can’t wait to help, they are teaching me what made them successful. That’s good game. Now, you can take all of that experience and apply it to the hustle, and then come up. You’re not going to find a bigger concentration of knowledge and resources in any other place than within an organization where the professionals love what they do.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television?

It’s essential to have diversity, but it’s more important to be able to adapt to adversity. Nobody is going to give you anything, period. And I think what’s happening is putting pressure on people to say, “You need to recognize us.” And if you don’t recognize us, your bottom line will dwindle because we don’t want to see that. “ The only way to get what you want is not to like it, because that could create so many narratives that keep you stuck. It’s out there, though. It’s up to you to get it.

As an actor, I have so many opportunities that I can’t even get to them all. I’m different because I’ve always been willing to put in the work to get it done. Now, everyone’s situation isn’t mine. So, there does need to be adversity in the industry because this country is diverse.

The powers that be are the powers that be, and it’s the same in the music industry. Half of the people in the music industry don’t know what’s happening. So, they cut the checks and deal with what they know. But we’re down here in the trenches, telling them it needs to be this way or that. So, it’s always going to be that battle, whether you are white, black, brown, whatever.

Whether you are a woman or a man, whether you’re a CEO or trying to be one, there are always these battles. I may not be privy to other people’s trials and tribulations in the industry. You have to figure out a way. There’s a success story with your name on it. It is up to you to figure it out.

I want to earn it, and then I know that people accept me for me, especially being Black.

I’ve been blessed in ways that it isn’t anyone but God. But this is what my dad told me a long time ago. He said, “Son, you can pray all you want, but if you don’t get your ass from up under the apple tree, ain’t nothing going to happen for you.” Those little sayings throughout my life have been the driving forces of what I’ve just explained.

It depends on who you are. I had to have two incredible parents, and I have never not known love. My father was an educator, and my father was dirt poor. My mother was dirt poor. They came from the ground, and my father passed away with his Ph.D., world-renowned. My mother is still with us. She’s still alive. They had an incredible life and lived it to the fullest. That’s why I understand what life is. I watched my father move from Denver, Colorado, and then drive an hour-and-a-half to get his doctorate and become dean of the university. No one gave him anything. I watched it.

I sacrificed not seeing as much of him as I would have liked, so he could hustle for his family to give us what he did not have. So there are no excuses. I watched it live.

How can that potentially affect our culture?

I am screamin’ from the mountaintop on podcasts as an expert inteverviewer three to four times a day. So my goal is to talk to people about what I wish someone had told me when I was a young man. For as much as my father prepared and educated my brother and I, they couldn’t tell me about the snakes and pitfalls of the music industry because that wasn’t their thing. However, they raised me well enough to where I could take responsibility for my decisions. That’s the only way.

If someone denies you something because of whatever, don’t take it as personal. Don’t react. Just get better.

Just put it in your pocket, and use it as fuel for later. Remember, no one owes you anything and no one is going to give you anything. The sooner you realize that fact of life, ironically, things come to you.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Don’t get credit cards. If you do, get a non-secured credit card.
  2. Learn everything you can about music publishing. Read every book-in and out-because music publishing is the only thing you’re left with after all the stardom fades. Even if you have a mediocre record, you can eat of that record forever. The backend is where the magic happens.
  3. Become a real estate agent to learn everything you can about real estate. And that’s one thing that I’ve learned how to do now that I regret I didn’t do back then.
  4. Take college a lot more seriously. It’s a double-edged sword because if I’d taken college seriously, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I was DJing in the clubs and at all the college frat parties. I was learning my craft. I was writing lyrics and doing everything that led to this point now. So, it was college where earned my stripes. If I had to do it differently I would have applied myself better and handled all of it. It was doable.

I lecture to college students now and tell them to just gget through it. Everybody is worried about things that have not relevance to the task at hand. Just focus and get through.

I would have done better in high school, but I did what I had to do. I’m blessed because I made sound decisions. I developed strong friendships that serve me to this day.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

  1. Stay out of your emotions.
  2. Admit when you’re wrong. Being wrong is the path to being right. Now my mind is open to every possibility.
  3. Find solutions to other people’s problems and excuses. Listen. Even if people are full of crap, there are nuggets of truth in that crap. Find them.
  4. Listen. Even if people are full of crap there are nuggets of truth in that crap. Find them.
  5. Each nugget is a tool in the toolbox of my life. It’s just about how they think about things. That’s all.

You’ve got to keep negative people away from you, they say. I disagree. What if the people you love the most are the ones who are the most negative in your life?You better learn how to adapt. Life will throw things at you much worse. So this is your chance to practice inventing solutions from negativity that serve you a lifetime.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Join an organization to get what you want. That’s the only way because that’s the quickest way to get an education. So join an organization and get the game moving.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My mother and father, Dr. Cecil and Lucille Glenn raised a hell of a son.

My father was Dean of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado. There was no Ethnic Studies program, and he’s the one that started it in the seventies.

I come from greatness in education. I didn’t even know that when I was growing up. So I regret not taking advantage of the knowledge in front of me.

But I recognize now that many people helped me, even in these streets; Michael “Magic” Barney of Magic City raised me. Terry Fisher nurtured me

Al Bell taught me a lot about the music industry. I don’t blame him for me as a grown ass man signing a bad record deal. I look back on everything he told me, and he gave me way more game than he did me dirty. Over the years, I have learned to appreciate that. Life is about relationships, good or bad.

My father would always say, “Don’t do anything stupid,” and that subliminal phrase has kept me out of major trouble.

I did stupid stuff, but that kept me from doing detrimentally stupid stuff. I continue that tradition now when I say to my nieces, “No slipping.”

So, the things that I learned from my father, I share with everyone. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about talking about him so much. There are many out there who were deprived of a father. That’s why my mission is to share everything he taught me and manifest it in the people who didn’t have what I am so grateful for. My Dad.

But never use that as the reason why you can’t do something. Just because you haven’t had your father in your life doesn’t mean you’re not a man. Learn how to be a man. Hustle.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There is nothing on this earth you can’t do as long as you’re breathing.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I aspire to be a Mandalorian or anything else in the Star Wars universe.Those are the entities where you live forever. For me, that would be the pinnacle of my acting career.

I would like to study at a British acting conservatory. During the pandemic, I did auditions with classically trained actors, and I wanted that knowledge.

Think about it: all these black actors from the hottest shows are British. They are classically trained actors. It’s not that American actors are less than For me, it’s just about the knowledge.

I want to go to the Conservatory in Australia because there are brilliant actors. And, I just want to go to Australia.

That’s one of my bucket list places to travel to. I have a different approach to the bucket list because I’ve done a lot of stuff.

There are not many places left that I haven’t gone to because I have been there and done that. I’ve done everything so many times that I now hate the things I used to enjoy.

So now in my life, knowledge is my club, networking is my recreation, and the hustle is and will always and forever be my girl..

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This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Rising Music Star DC Glenn On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Music Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.