How ex-Apple executive Larry Jackson is uplifting Black culture with his $1 billion music startup

Abu Mubarik August 18, 2023
Larry Jackson. Photo: Instagram/larryjackson

Larry Jackson is the founder of the entertainment company, Gamma. The 42-year-old seized the attention of the entertainment industry in March when he launched his company backed by $1 billion in financing.

Gamma is on a mission to put the $1 billion in funding “to work” in favor of Black culture, Billboard reported. The launch of Gamma follows the success of his TikTok gambit. In February this year, TikTok users got a surprising Vals’ Day package.

Users were given exclusive access to the catalog of the hip-hop label, Death Row Records. The gift was significant because the platform was acquired by Snoop Dogg in 2022, who subsequently pulled it from streaming services. Thus, the only place to hear classic songs like Snoop’s Doggystyle was on Tiktok.

This partnership, according to Billboard, was made possible by the former Apple music executive, Jackson. So far, his music company’s roster includes not only Snoop but also Usher, Rick Ross, Russ, and Sexxy Red.

Gamma, primarily funded by Todd Boehly’s Eldridge Industries, has also acquired music technology company Vydia. Jackson touts Vydia as the “fastest-growing distribution service in the business.” Gamma also has a relationship with A24, which has been described as “the hottest motion picture studio right now”

Jackson will also be venturing into podcasting, a project it is developing with Angelica Nwandu, founder of The Shade Room, and Rick Ross.

“What LJ is doing is a new way of thinking about things,” said Travis Scott, a close ally of Jackson. “I love that he is opening up ways for an artist to come in and really elevate, and it’s more than just music.”

“Creatives, we’re weird people, but he knows how to get the best out of us — that’s one of his superpowers,” recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. added. “But then he can also do deals, structure agreements, really see trends and what is going to be next. He was built for this.”

According to Bloomberg, Jackson learned the record business from two of the most powerful people in music — Clive Davis and Jimmy Iovine. Growing up, he worked at the Bay Area radio station KMEL, where he became assistant music director at age 16.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 18, 2023


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