HIP-HOP AT 50: TRAILBLAZING A&R DANTE ROSS PENS FIRST BOOK

Dante Ross, the former Tommy Boy Records A&R exec who helped launch the careers of Queen Latifah and De La Soul, made history when he became Elektra's first A&R specifically tasked with cultivating a hip-hop roster. He also signed Brand Nubian, Del the Funky Homosapien, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, KMD, Leaders of the New School, Busta Rhymes and Ol' Dirty Bastard. He later inked deals with new jacks Sada Baby and Lil Dicky, among others. A Grammy-winning producer, Ross has also lent his talents to the careers of Carlos Santana, 3rd Bass, House of Pain's Everlast, to name a few.

Needless to say, he has some stories. With the advent of hip-hop's official 50th right around the corner, the timing couldn't be better for his first book, Son of the City. Ross explained in an Instagram post he'd began the project in 2009. Fourteen years later his dream is a reality, with the book scheduled to arrive 5/24 via Rare Bird.

"I’m a mildly dyslexic blue-collar Lower East Side kid who barely graduated high school yet grew up loving to read," he told us. "My father was a writer and my mother was a teacher, so seeing my book in its physical form connected me to their spirit in a way I'd never experienced before. I'm honored to be able to share my story of landing in the middle of a cultural revolution that would help change the world. I found my voice in amplifying the voices of others." He joked, "Basically, I’m a schmuck with famous friends who got lucky. I wrote this in crayon."

Among Son of the City's contributors are Queen Latifah and Beastie Boy Mike D, who writes, "Dante grew up in and around so much emergent culture in NYC at a time when cultural exchange was truly at its peak. He took what he saw and used it as inspiration for a prolific career in music and beyond. Son of the City provides a bird's-eye view of it all."

Pictured mere moments from shouting "No sleep 'til Brooklyn!" is Ross (right) with De La Soul's Posdnuos.

Pre-order Son of the City here.

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GEFFEN ON ROSENBLATT: "A BRILLIANT BUSINESS PARTNER"
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