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A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS II: MONTE LIPMAN

In this latest dive into our recent anthology of industry-baller profiles, we focus on the mighty Monte Lipman. The Republic chieftain, who co-founded the label with brother Avery, is riding high these days, thanks to monster acts like Post Malone, Taylor Swift, DrakeAriana Grande, Jonas Brothers and The Weeknd. But the segment below explores a few notable anecdotes from the earliest phases of his career.

The lore of Lipman extends at least as far back as his days as a local for SBK, when the TV news magazine 48 Hours followed him from one Miami radio station to another working EMF’s soon-to-be-smash “Unbelievable.” The show’s correspondent watched Monte tell the PD at Power 96 that the track was the best dance record of the year, and then saw him tell the programmer at 98 Rock that it was the best rock record of the year. Both agreed and added it on the spot. “How can you tell one station it’s dance and another that it’s rock?” asked the incredulous interviewer. Quoth Monte, “Tell ’em what they wanna hear.”

 There’s also the tale of how Dave Morales played Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” for Monte during the latter’s visit to WOHT in Jackson, Miss., and Monte, stunned, played it for label boss Charles Koppelman over the phone. Ice’s subsequent deal with SBK resulted in a worldwide smash; the tale underscores how Monte exhibited A&R chops even at this embryonic point in his career.

In 1995, Daniel Glass moved to the presidency of Rising TideDoug Morris’ JV with Edgar Bronfman, Jr., under the MCA umbrella—and hired Monte as VP Pop Promotion. When Al Teller was fired as head of the MCA Music Group, Morris succeeded him in the post. Rising Tide later morphed into Universal Records.

Young Monte makes the radio rounds with Vanilla Ice

By that time, Monte was hatching an en
trepreneurial scheme with Avery, who recalled the humble origins of their baby to Hitquarters: “Republic Records started in our apartment at our kitchen table,” he noted, adding that Monte “was in between jobs, and we started putting records out as a hobby. We had a grassroots approach to the business. The first record we put out happened to work really well. That was The Bloodhound Gang.”

Monte decided to put out the project on his own fledgling label. The prankster alternative troupe’s “Fire Water Burn,” released in 1996 on the Republic imprint via Geffen, took off.

Read the complete profile here.

 

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